Detecting Pyruvate with Nanoparticle/MXene Biosensor

In a study published in the journal Materials Letters, a biosensor centered on platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) tuned two-dimensional MXene was created for precise pyruvate measurement in human blood.

Detecting Pyruvate with Nanoparticle/MXene Biosensor

​​​​​​​Study: Platinum nanoparticles modified MXene for highly sensitive detection of pyruvate. Image Credit: Irina Anosova/

What is Pyruvate?

Pyruvate, the end product of glycolysis, is abundant in the human body. The glycolysis mechanism provides energy to the majority of the body's tissues. As a consequence, high pyruvate concentrations constitute a substantial risk factor for a variety of disorders.

The brain, for instance, is engaged in several metabolic activities, the primary source of energy being the digestion of glucose and pyruvate. As a result, if the metabolism is disrupted, it may cause substantial harm to the neurological system and contribute to a variety of disorders. Greater doses of pyruvate in cerebral fluid, for example, are thought to be one of the characteristics of Alzheimer's disease,

Issues with pyruvate metabolism have been related to medical disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. Thus, pyruvate assessment has serious therapeutic clinical consequences and may give useful insights for a science investigation. Pyruvate screening has been extensively researched in recent times.

Techniques to Detect Pyruvate

Pyruvate is routinely detected using chromogenic, spectrometry, fluorometric, and chromatography methods. Nevertheless, these methods have significant downsides, including being time-consuming and needing complicated instrumentation. As a consequence, more efficient methods of measuring pyruvate are necessary, and electrochemical sensors play an important part in this respect.

Most known catalytic pyruvate sensors are centered on the interaction of pyruvate oxidase (POx) with pyruvate to create hydrogen peroxide, and pyruvate is monitored passively by sensing hydrogen peroxide produced by the catalyzed activity, as per the formulas.

Electrochemical sensors provide various benefits for hydrogen peroxide sensing, including good sensitivity, rapid reaction rate, cheap cost, and low resistance. These sensors may also be miniaturized to provide transportable tools for pyruvate point-of-care diagnostics (POCT).

Owing to their unusual enzymatic, electrostatic, magnetic, and refractive capabilities, metal nanoparticles have been widely examined in the literature. Due to its catalytic effect on hydrogen peroxide oxidation and O2 reductions, platinum is presently the most favored substrate metal for biocatalytic processes.

Platinum nanoparticles, for example, are commonly used as enzyme substitutes to accelerate the creation of hydrogen peroxide.

Recently, some scientists created a novel two-dimensional material Ti3C2Tx -MXene, for the first time. MXene is a transition metal carbide having a layered structure, exceptional electrical properties, a high specific surface area, and exceptional wettability.

Key Objectives of the Study

MXene was created in this work by dissolving titanium aluminium carbide powder with lithium fluoride and hydrochloric acid and then modifying it with platinum nanoparticles to generate a two-dimensional composite material. Pyruvate enzyme was then adsorbed on a surface of the electrode coated with MXene- platinum nanoparticles. On the surface of the electrode, pyruvate oxidase will oxidize pyruvate to produce hydrogen peroxide.

Platinum nanoparticles and MXene were combined and self-assembled to generate an aqueous suspension of MXene and platinum nanoparticles. To create the sensor, mXene- platinum nanoparticles liquid mixture was applied to a cleaned electrode surface and dried at room temperature. When not being used, the final sensor was kept at 4 °C.

Performance Analysis of Sensor

To test the sensor's capability for pyruvate identification, different amounts of pyruvate were evaluated by the sensor. The potential effects were shown to rise as the pyruvate content increased. In the spectrum of 10-1000 M, satisfactory linear correlations were found.

The sensor was also quite repeatable, with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 5%. When compared to other pyruvate identification techniques mentioned in the literature, this pyruvate sensor performed relatively well. One of the most significant aspects of the sensor is specificity; so, to investigate the sensor's specificity, numerous compounds were investigated that could coexist with pyruvate.

The experimental findings showed that the sensor's reactions to intervening chemicals such as sugar, uric acid (UA), were fairly small relative to pyruvate, confirming the sensor's selectivity. The pyruvate quantities in blood specimens evaluated by the biosensors were observed to be substantially comparable to those obtained by the assay method, demonstrating the sensor's possible medical applicability.

Important Outcomes of the Study

An electrochemical detection method was described based on pyruvate oxidase and MXene nanoparticles for the effective and sensitive detection of pyruvate.

MXene's large specific surface area and strong electrical conductance boosted the concentration of platinum nanoparticles and enabled the accurate detection of hydrogen peroxide produced by pyruvate oxidase decomposition. The research findings demonstrated that the sensors have great specificity and sensitivity for pyruvate identification.


Wen, Q., & Yang, M. (2022). Platinum nanoparticles modified MXene for highly sensitive detection of pyruvate. Materials Letters. Available at:

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Shaheer Rehan

Written by

Shaheer Rehan

Shaheer is a graduate of Aerospace Engineering from the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad. He has carried out research on a wide range of subjects including Aerospace Instruments and Sensors, Computational Dynamics, Aerospace Structures and Materials, Optimization Techniques, Robotics, and Clean Energy. He has been working as a freelance consultant in Aerospace Engineering for the past year. Technical Writing has always been a strong suit of Shaheer's. He has excelled at whatever he has attempted, from winning accolades on the international stage in match competitions to winning local writing competitions. Shaheer loves cars. From following Formula 1 and reading up on automotive journalism to racing in go-karts himself, his life revolves around cars. He is passionate about his sports and makes sure to always spare time for them. Squash, football, cricket, tennis, and racing are the hobbies he loves to spend his time in.


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