Rifampicin (RIF) is an essential antibiotic from the rifamycins group, introduced for human use in 1967. The intensive use of antibiotics, including RIF, for human, veterinary and agricultural purposes, results in the continuous release of the drugs and their metabolites into the environment. This leads to the development of antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria, affecting the therapeutic effect against human and animal pathogens, jeopardizing the treatment of some infections.
Besides the problem of the adverse effects of the presence of RIF in the environment and the problem of antibiotic resistance in general, there is a need for drug analysis during various stages of pharmaceutical development. More specific it concerns the analytical investigation of bulk drug materials, pharmaceutical formulations and quality control (in relation to impurities and degradation products of pharmaceutical substances). Therefore, there is a necessity to estimate RIF and its major metabolites, 25-desacetylrifampicin and 3-formyl rifampicin, levels in biological, pharmaceutical and environmental samples.
The aim of this project is to develop a robust, sensitive and selective photoelectrochemical method for RIF detection, in environmental and pharmaceutical samples, based on disposable carbon screen printed electrodes modified with an innovative hybrid material based on photosensitizer. In a first phase, the photo-electrochemical detection of RIF will be optimized in classical buffered solutions (e.g. variation of electrochemical parameters, concentrations of photosensitizers, pH). Secondly, the detection will be performed in real samples. Finally, it will be explored whether the photo-electrochemical detection can be boosted by plasmonic particles.