Well-dispersed Pd nanoparticles were facilely anchored on graphene oxide (Pd/GO) via a one-pot chemical reduction of the Pd2+ precursor without any surfactants and templates. The morphology and composition of the Pd/GO nanocomposite were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FUR) and energy dispersive analysis of X-ray (EDX). The stepwise fabrication process of the Pd/GO modified electrode and its electrochemical sensing performance towards paracetamol was evaluated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). The experimental results indicate that the as-synthesized Pd nanoparticles are relatively uniform in size (5-10 nm) without large aggregation and uniformly distributed in the carbon matrix with the overall Pd content of 28.77 wt% in Pd/GO. Compared with the GO modified electrode, the Pd/GO modified electrode shows a better electrocatalytic activity to the oxidation of paracetamol with lower oxidation potential and larger peak current, so the Pd/GO nanocomposite can be used as an enhanced sensing platform for the electrochemical determination of paracetamol. The kinetic parameters of the paracetamol electro-oxidation at Pd/GO electrode were studied in detail, and the determination conditions were optimized. Under the optimal conditions, the oxidation peak current is linear to the paracetamol concentration in the ranges of 0.005-0.5 mu M and 0.5-80.0 mu M with a detection limit of 2.2 nM. Based on the high sensitivity and good selectivity of the Pd/GO modified electrode, the proposed method was successfully applied to the determination of paracetamol in commercial tablets and human urines, and the satisfactory results confirm the applicability of this sensor in practical analysis. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.