A new strategy to mimic antibody for electrochemical recognition and detection of deoxynivalenol (DON) using a highly-sensitive and selective antibody-like sensor based on molecularly imprinted poly(l-arginine) (P-Arg-MIP) on carboxylic acid functionalized carbon nanotubes (COOH-MWCNTs) was proposed. l-arginine as functional monomer was screened to prepare imprinted electrode via its electro-polymerization in the presence of DON onto the surface of COOH-MWCNTs electrode coupled with theoretical calculation. Surface morphology, structural characteristics, and electrochemical properties of P-Arg-MIP/COOH-MWCNTs were characterized by SEM, EDS, FTIR, and CV, respectively. P-Arg-MIP/COOH-MWCNTs displayed relatively high conductivity, high effective surface area, antibody-like molecular recognition and affinity, and a good response towards DON in a linear range from 0.1 to 70 μM with LOD of 0.07 μM in wheat flour samples with satisfactory recovery and feasible practicability in comparison with HPLC. This method provides a promising biomimetic sensing platform for the determination of mycotoxins in food and agro-products.
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