A composite electrode was prepared by modifying glassy carbon microparticles with gold nanoparticles (Au-nps) and xanthine oxidase enzyme (XOD) for xanthine (X) and hypoxanthine (Hx) detection. After the optimization of the system for X, the biosensor was characterized for X and Hx. A linearity was obtained in the concentration range between 5.00 x 10(-7) and 1.00 x 10(-5) M for X with equation of y = 0.24x + 0.712 and 5.00 x 10(-6) to 1.50 x 10(-4) M for Hx, with equation of y = 0.014x+0.575, respectively. Obtained results were compared to X and/or Hx biosensors including/not including Au-np in the structure. The developed system was also applied for detection of Hx in canned tuna fish sample and very promising results were obtained. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.