• electrochemistry;
  • detection;
  • nanoparticles;
  • phenylethanolamine A


Phenylethanolamine A (PEA), a β-agonist, was found to be illegally used as a growth promoter in pigs last year, causing Chinese government's great attention. Here, a sensitive electrochemical method was developed for detecting PEA by immobilization of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and Nafion on the surface of a glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The Nafion/MWCNTs/AuNPs film was characterized by scanning electronic micrographs (SEM) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The electrochemical behaviors of PEA at the modified GCE were investigated in detail. The synergetic effects of AuNPs, MWCNTs and Nafion amplify the electrochemical reduction signal of PEA, and result in high sensitivity for PEA determination. Under the optimal conditions, the electrochemical sensor shows a wide linear range of 0.01 to 10 (mol/L with a detection limit of 0.005 µmol/L. Moreover, the fabricated sensor presents high selectivity and long-term stability, which paves a new way for simple, rapid, sensitive detection of PEA.