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Environ Pollut. 2007 Jan;145(1):104-10. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

An 'artificial mussel' for monitoring heavy metals in marine environments.

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Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.


A new chemical sampling device, artificial mussel (AM), has been developed for monitoring metals in marine environments. This device consists of a polymer ligand suspended in artificial seawater within a Perspex tubing, and enclosed with semi-permeable gel at both ends. Laboratory and field experiments were carried out to examine the uptake of five metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn) by the AM. Uptake of metals by AM was proportional to the exposure metal concentrations, and the AM was able to accumulate the ASV labile fractions of metals. Uptake and release of the metals of AM are similar to those of the mussel Perna viridis, but less affected by salinity and temperature. Field studies demonstrated that the AM can not only provide a time-integrated estimate of metals concentrations, but also allows comparisons of metal levels in different environments and geographical areas beyond the natural distribution limits of biomonitors.

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