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Analyst. 2010 Jun;135(6):1411-6. doi: 10.1039/c000589d. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

Highly selective fluorescent sensors for Hg(2+) based on bovine serum albumin-capped gold nanoclusters.

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  • 1Key Laboratory for Biomedical informatics and Health Engineering, Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, 518055, PR China.


In this paper, we report a new homogeneous assay for rapid, highly selective and sensitive detection of Hg(2+) in aqueous solution based on the induced photoluminescence (PL) quenching of BSA-modified gold nanoclusters (BSA-Au NCs). There was a linear correlation between the expression (I(0)- I)/I(0) and the concentrations of Hg(2+) over the ranges of 0.4-43.2 microM, and the corresponding limit of detection (LOD) was 80 nM. The relative standard deviation of 5 replicate measurements was 1.4% for 1.0 x 10(-5) mol L(-1) Hg(2+). Moreover, this method has excellent selectivity over metal ions and anions. The feasibility of the BSA-Au NCs sensor for Hg(2+) in different aqueous samples was demonstrated with satisfactory results. Moreover, the possible sensing Hg(2+) mechanism was also discussed.

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