Cellobiose dehydrogenase on electrodes - an electrochemical biosensor for various analytes tunable by positive charges

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) is a sugar oxidizing enzyme secreted by various species of wood degrading fungi to assist the process of wood degradation. It can oxidise analytically relevant sugars as cellobiose, lactose or glucose leading to a gain of two electrons per sugar molecule. CDH consists of a flavin containing catalytic domain (DH) and a haem containing electron mediating domain (CYT). CDH is able to directly communicate with electrode surfaces via the CYT delivering its gained electrons making it a suitable candidate for the construction of mediatorless biosensors and biofuel cell anodes being applicable either for the detection of sugars or for the generation of electricity out of sugar containing solutions.
In the present thesis the ability of CDH to electrically communicate with silver, gold and graphite electrode surfaces was investigated and employed mainly by electrochemical techniques as cyclic voltammetry and square wave voltammetry and was complemented by spectroscopic techniques.
The central finding is the ability of cations to enhance the electro-catalytic activity of CDH. Especially divalent cations as Ca2+ were found to increase the internal electron transfer (IET) from the DH to the electron mediating CYT leading to higher current outputs. The effect was ascribed to a yet unknown, transient, electrostatic interaction of Ca2+ with negative charges present on the DH and CYT decreasing their repulsion leading to a faster IET. Similar effects were observed for CDH electrodes premodified with immobilised polycations as polyethylenimine (PEI) or polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDADMAC) or premodified with PEI covered gold nanoparticles. The polycations were found to enhance the enzyme load onto electrode surfaces by electrostatic interactions but were also suggested to increase the IET comparable to Ca2+. The beneficial effect of cations and polycations on the electro-catalytic activity of CDH was employed to construct various biosensors to detect lactose, glucose, adenosine triphosphate and Ca2+ in various sensing schemes and analytes.
A further observation regarding the electrochemistry of CDH could be obtained only recently. We could finally prove unequivocally, after more than a decade of efforts, that a direct electronic communication is also possible between electrodes and the DH domain occurring at lower voltages than the DET with CYT. This potentially increases the voltage of biofuel cells and lowers the problematic oxidation of common interferents of biosensors pushing the commercial exploitation of CDH as a bioelectrocatalyst to a new level.


  • Christopher Schulz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Analytical Chemistry


  • cellobiose dehydrogenase, direct electron transfer, amperometric biosensor, glucose, lactose, cellobiose, calcium, polycation, graphite, gold, electrode
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2015 Sep 25
  • Department of Chemistry, Lund University
Print ISBNs978-91-7422-409-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2015-09-25 Time: 13:15 Place: Kemicentrum, lecture Hall A, Getingevägen 60, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Lojou, Elisabeth Title: [unknown] Affiliation: Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Marseille, France ---

Total downloads

No data available