Programmable “Semismart” Sensor: Relevance to Monitoring Antipsychotics Academic Article uri icon


  • Mental health disorders are complex and poorly understood but would benefit from real-time chemical analysis capable of assessing a patient's current status, personalizing a therapeutic action, and monitoring compliance. Here, an electrochemical sensor is reported for detecting the antipsychotic drug clozapine which is one of the most effective but under-utilized drugs for managing schizophrenia. This sensor employs a composite film of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) embedded within a matrix of the aminopolysaccharide chitosan. Chitosan allows programmable assembly of the composite film at an electrode address while the CNTs confer electrocatalytic activities that displace interfering serum peaks from the voltage region where clozapine oxidation occurs. Using differential pulse voltammetry, high sensitivities (limit of detection 0.05 × 10–6m) are demonstrated for clozapine analysis in buffer. In serum, clozapine sensitivity is reduced by an order of magnitude but still sufficient for clinical analysis. Finally, the detection of clozapine from the serum of a schizophrenia patient is demonstrated without the need for serum pretreatment. In the long term, it is envisioned that the CNT-chitosan coated electrode could be integrated within a small array of other sensor types to enhance information-extraction to allow mental health disorders to be better managed and better understood.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015