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Simple, Selective and Sensitive Determination of CH3Hg+ Using Gold Nanocluster

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Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, which causes serious and permanent damage to biota including human beings. Nanomaterials like gold have been used to detect mercury, especially the mercuric ions in recent years, but few have been done on the determination of methylmercury (CH3Hg+). In this study, we present a simple, selective and sensitive method for the determination of CH3Hg+ coexisting with Hg2+ based on the fluorescence quenching of bovine serum albumin (BSA) stabilized gold nanoclusters (BSA-Au NCs). It was found that the fluorescence quenching of BSA-Au NCs by Hg2+ is stronger than CH3Hg+ at the same concentration. Hg2+ can be masked by EDTA while CH3Hg+ is less affected. Therefore, the determination of CH3Hg+ was achieved through EDTA masking. The detection limit for CH3Hg+ is 35 nmol/L after masking Hg2+ with EDTA. This method has been successfully applied to quantify CH3Hg+ in rice paddy water from Qingzhen, Guizhou and tap water from Beijing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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