An electrochemical enzyme biosensor with electronically type-sorted (metallic and semiconducting) single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) for use in aqueous media is presented. This research investigates how the electronic types of SWNTs influence the amperometric response of enzyme biosensors. To conduct a clear evaluation, a simple layer-by-layer process based on a plasma-polymerized nano thin film (PPF) was adopted because a PPF is an inactive matrix that can form a well-defined nanostructure composed of SWNTs and enzyme. For a biosensor with the glucose oxidase (GOx) enzyme in the presence of oxygen, the response of a metallic SWNT-GOx electrode was 2 times larger than that of a semiconducting SWNT-GOx electrode. In contrast, in the absence of oxygen, the response of the semiconducting SWNT-GOx electrode was retained, whereas that of the metallic SWNT-GOx electrode was significantly reduced. This indicates that direct electron transfer occurred with the semiconducting SWNT-GOx electrode, whereas the metallic SWNT-GOx electrode was dominated by a hydrogen peroxide pathway caused by an enzymatic reaction. For a biosensor with the glucose dehydrogenase (GDH; oxygen-independent catalysis) enzyme, the response of the semiconducting SWNT-GDH electrode was 4 times larger than that of the metallic SWNT-GDH electrode. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to show that the semiconducting SWNT network has less resistance for electron transfer than the metallic SWNT network. Therefore, it was concluded that semiconducting SWNTs are more suitable than metallic SWNTs for electrochemical enzyme biosensors in terms of direct electron transfer as a detection mechanism. This study makes a valuable contribution toward the development of electrochemical biosensors that employ sorted SWNTs and various enzymes.
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