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Highly Sensitive and Selective Photoluminescence Detection of Copper Ions via In Situ Formation of Fluorescent Polydopamine

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Detection of heavy metals via fluorescence has attracted increasing attention. Herein, we report a novel copper(II) ion (Cu2+) sensor using fluorescent polydopamine (FPDA). Dopamine is easily oxidized to polydopamine by oxygen in alkaline solution, and oxidized polydopamine does not fluoresce. However, under a nitrogen atmosphere, FPDA can be produced by adding hydrogen peroxide into a dopamine solution in the presence of Cu2+ ions. The fluorescence intensity of FPDA is strongly dependent on the concentration of Cu2+ ions. At higher concentrations of Cu2+ ions, the photoluminescence intensity of FPDA also increases at a higher rate. FPDA exhibited a highly sensitive and selective response to Cu2+ ions over other ionic competitors in the biological milieu, achieving a detection limit as low as 1 nmol L-1 (nM). This study shows that the method can be used for monitoring in vivo Cu2+ ions owing to the distinct properties of FPDA such as strong fluorescence signal and biocompatibility.
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Keywords: Copper Ion Detection; Photoluminescence; Polydopamine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Gachon University, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, 461-701, South Korea

Publication date: August 1, 2017

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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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