A simple, novel and fast electrochemical method was applied for clinical diagnosis of leukemia. Blood samples of leukemia patients were identified by screen-printed electrodes with potassium ferricyanide (III) probes. Our study successfully developed and raised the possibility of utilizing the electrodes in the identification and diagnosis of leukemia.


Accurate preliminary detection of leukemia is vital for timely and suitable chemotherapy and clinical outcomes of patients. Electrochemical methods have been widely used in cytobiology, including identification of leukemia cells. In the present study, we creatively applied the use of an electrochemical method to the analysis of human blood samples. The aim of this study was to identify leukemia, breast cancer, respiratory infection and healthy individuals by detecting the electrochemical characteristics of leukocytes in the peripheral blood of patients with a screen-printed electrode. This method might be effectively used in the preliminary screening of leukemia.


A total of 99 blood samples obtained from Zhongda hospital in China (May 2016 - July 2016) were divided into four groups: healthy individuals (n = 25), respiratory infection (n=23), leukemia (n = 29) and breast cancer (n = 22). We used probes to distinguish leukocytes of people's blood from different samples immediately due to the different electrochemical behaviors of leukocytes. A screen-printed electrode was used to measure differential pulse voltammetry by a potassium ferricyanide (III) probe combined with a simple bio-sensor system. Then, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) method was applied to analyze the scanning curves and peak potential and peak shifts were compared (ΔEp).


The scanning curves demonstrated the specific electrochemical behaviors of the blank potassium ferricyanide solution and which mixed with different samples in different groups. Significant differences in mean peak potentials were observed over the four groups (P< = 0.001). 105.00±8.02mV, 111.84±9.53mV, 120.90±11.18mV, 132.84±11.53mV for Group healthy, Group respiratory infection, Group leukemia, and Group breast cancer, respectively. Meanwhile, there were 4.67±3.14mV, 10.91±5.81mV,20.42±8.50mV, 33.42±10.05mV in peak shifts for above four groups respectively.


Using the screen-printed electrode to identify cancer was a novel method with good sensitivity and specificity. It might be effective and had a potential utility in the preliminary screening of leukemia.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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