Highly sensitive detection of urinary cadmium to assess personal exposure
A series of Boron-Doped Diamond (BDD) ultramicroelectrode arrays were fabricated and investigated for their performance as electrochemical sensors to detect trace level metals such as cadmium. The steady-state diffusion behavior of these sensors was validated using cyclic voltammetry followed by electrochemical detection of cadmium in water and in human urine to demonstrate high sensitivity (>200 µAppb-1cm-2) and low background current (<4nA). When an array of ultramicroelectrodes was positioned with optimal spacing, these BDD sensors showed a sigmoidal diffusion behavior. They also demonstrated high accuracy with linear dose dependence for quantification of cadmium in a certified reference river water sample from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as well as in a human urine sample spiked with 0.25-1ppb cadmium.