Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Fred Hawkridge


This research work has investigated the electrochemistry of glutathione (GSH)and homocysteine (HCSH) in order to develop sensors for these biological thiols.Ru(bpy)33+ and IrCl62− have been used as mediators for the electrooxidation of GSH andHCSH because direct oxidation of these thiols is slow at most conventional electrodes.The electrochemical detection of GSH and HCSH has been pursued because of their biological roles.

Concerted proton electron transfer (CPET) and stepwise proton electron transfer(PT/ET) pathways have been observed in the electrooxidation of GSH and HCSH.Oxidation of GSH by Ru(bpy)33+ carried out in deuterated and undeuterated buffered (pH= pD = 5.0) and unbuffered solutions (pH = pD 5.0−9.0) indicates a CPET pathway. AtpH 7.0 buffered solution, the involvement of the buffer was obvious, with rate increasing as the buffer concentration increases − an indication of a general base catalysis. The oxidation of GSH by IrCl62− follows through CPET at pH 7.0 when the optimum concentration of the buffer is established. The plot of the rate vs. buffer concentration gave a curvature at lower buffer concentration and then a plateau at higher concentration,which implies a change in the rate determining step as the buffer concentration increases.At lower buffer concentration, proton transfer was seen to be the rate determining step asthe reduction current increases upon scan rate increase.

In the oxidation of HCSH by IrCl62−, CPET was observed at pH = pD values of7.0 and 8.0, whereas PT/ET was seen at pH = pD values of 9.0 and 10. Increase in the buffer concentration at pH 7.0 revealed the contribution of the buffer, in that, the oxidation proceeds more efficiently, seeing that the catalytic peak current shifts more negatively and the peak broadness diminishes. Increase in the temperature for the electrooxidation of HCSH resulted in increase in the rate.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2008

Included in

Chemistry Commons