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Anal Sci. 2002 Nov;18(11):1215-9.

A dip-and-read test strip for the determination of mercury(II) ion in aqueous samples based on urease activity inhibition.

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Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P 0. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China.


A sensitive dip-and-read test strip for the determination of mercury in aqueous samples based on the inhibition of urease reaction by the ion has been developed. The strip has a circular sensing zone that containing two layers: the top layer is a cellulose acetate membrane where urease is immobilized on it; the bottom layer is a pH indicator wafer that is impregnated with urea. The principle of the measurement is based on the disappearance of a yellow spot on the pH indicator wafer. The elapsing time until the disappearance of the spot which depends on the concentration of mercury(II) ion is measured with a stopwatch. Under the experimental conditions, as low as 0.2 ng/ml mercury can be observed with the detection range from 0.2 to 200 ng/ml in water. Organomercury compounds give essentially the same response as inorganic mercury. Heavy-metal ions such as Ag(I), Cu(II), Cd(II), Ni(II), Zn(II), and Pb(II) as well as other sample matrixes basically do not interfere with the mercury measurement.

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