Nanostructured conducting polymers are known to function as electroactive materials in sensor devices for adsorption and detection of different analytes. For the purpose of dopamine (DA) detection and CO2 gas adsorption we have prepared nanostructured polypyrrole (PPY) with the help of sodium cholate as surfactant. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) measurement have been done for the characterization of nanostructure and morphology of the prepared PPY. From the sorption measurement, it is observed that the rodlike PPY structures show highest N2 uptake (91.6 mL g−1) along with appreciable surface area (85.81 m2/g) and porosity (2.53 and 4.51 nm) values. It is also observed that the maximum uptake of CO2 is 173.885 mL g−1 at 195K for the PPY synthesized without any surfactant. Electrochemical characterization of PPY modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was done with impedance and cyclic voltammetry experiments. DA sensing in presence of ascorbic acid, uric acid and glucose was done by LSV technique. The PPY modified electrode exhibits sensitivity values of 0.301 and 0.19 μA μM−1 cm2 over two ranges of detection limits of 0.09–0.56 and 10–50 μM for dopamine, respectively (signal/noise = 3). © 2018 Elsevier B.V.