An optical biosensor based on glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) immobilized in a chitosan film for the determination of ammonium in water samples is described. The biosensor film was deposited on a glass slide via a spin-coating method. The ammonium was measured based on beta-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) oxidation in the presence of alpha-ketoglutaric acid at a wavelength of 340 nm. The biosensor showed optimum activity at pH 8. The optimum chitosan concentrations and enzyme loading were found to be at 2% (w/v) and 0.08 mg, respectively. Optimum concentrations of NADH and alpha-ketoglutaric acid both were obtained at 0.15 mM. A linear response of the biosensor was obtained in the ammonium concentration range of 0.005 to 0.5 mM with a detection limit of 0.005 mM. The reproducibility of the biosensor was good, with an observed relative standard deviation of 5.9% (n=8). The biosensor was found to be stable for at least 1 month when stored dry at 4 degrees C.
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