Square wave voltammetric detection of chemical DNA damage with catalytic poly(4-vinylpyridine)-Ru(bpy)22+ films

Amos Mugweru, James F. Rusling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Reversible, catalytic films of poly(4-vinylpyridine)-Ru(bpy)22+ [PVP-Ru(bpy)22+, bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine] on pyrolytic graphite (PG) electrodes were evaluated for the detection of damage to double-stranded (ds) DNA by using square wave voltammetry (SWV). Damage of both calf thymus and salmon testes ds-DNA in solution was induced by incubation of DNA at 37 °C with styrene oxide, the liver metabolite of styrene, and a suspected carcinogen. Both types of ds-DNA incubated in solution with saturated styrene oxide gave a linear increase in catalytic peak current up to 30 min, and an estimate of two damaged DNA bases in one thousand could be detected. The increase in catalytic current is attributed to better access of the catalyst redox sites to oxidizable bases in the damaged, partly unwound DNA. A self-contained "toxicity sensor" was also evaluated, which consisted of films of [PVP-Ru(bpy)22+] on PG electrodes coated with films of ds-DNA and polydiallyldimethylammonium polycations assembled layer-by-layer. These films also gave an increase in catalytic peak current upon incubation in saturated styrene oxide, and an estimate of 1 damaged base in 1000 could be detected. Control films or solutions of ds-DNA treated in buffer or buffer containing unreactive toluene resulted in no significant changes in the catalytic peak current with incubation time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4044-4049
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Square wave voltammetric detection of chemical DNA damage with catalytic poly(4-vinylpyridine)-Ru(bpy)<sub>2</sub><sup>2+</sup> films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this