Research Highlight

Painkiller sensor

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.3 Published online 27 January 2010

A new sensor can detect excess amounts of the drug paracetamol (PA) in biological samples. An overdose of the drug affects the liver and kidney.

Most existing techniques to detect PA are expensive, time consuming and have low sensitivity. The presence of ascorbic acid also disrupts the determination of PA in biological samples.

The researchers created nanostructured film of 5-amino-2-mercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole and smeared it on glassy carbon electrode. They tested the efficacy of the film-modified electrode in detecting PA in the presence of ascorbic acid and other interfering biochemicals.

The film detected very low concentration of PA even in the presence of 500-fold excess of ascorbic acid. It even detected PA in the presence of 1000-fold excess physiological chemicals such as glucose, urea, oxalate, phenylalanine, valine, glycine, proline and several ions.

The sensor could also be used to detect PA in pharmaceutical preparations. This is the first report on very high sensitivity and the lowest detection limit for PA, the researchers say.


  1. Kalimuthu, P. et al. Selective Electrochemical Determination of Paracetamol Using Nanostructured Film of Functionalized Thiadiazole Modified Electrode. Electroanalysis 22, 303-309 (2010) | Article