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Anal Chem. 2014 Feb 4;86(3):1845-52. doi: 10.1021/ac403846s. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Development of a fluorescence-based sensor for rapid diagnosis of cyanide exposure.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, South Dakota State University , Box 2202, Brookings, South Dakota 57007, United States.


Although commonly known as a highly toxic chemical, cyanide is also an essential reagent for many industrial processes in areas such as mining, electroplating, and synthetic fiber production. The "heavy" use of cyanide in these industries, along with its necessary transportation, increases the possibility of human exposure. Because the onset of cyanide toxicity is fast, a rapid, sensitive, and accurate method for the diagnosis of cyanide exposure is necessary. Therefore, a field sensor for the diagnosis of cyanide exposure was developed based on the reaction of naphthalene dialdehyde, taurine, and cyanide, yielding a fluorescent β-isoindole. An integrated cyanide capture "apparatus", consisting of sample and cyanide capture chambers, allowed rapid separation of cyanide from blood samples. Rabbit whole blood was added to the sample chamber, acidified, and the HCN gas evolved was actively transferred through a stainless steel channel to the capture chamber containing a basic solution of naphthalene dialdehyde (NDA) and taurine. The overall analysis time (including the addition of the sample) was <3 min, the linear range was 3.13-200 μM, and the limit of detection was 0.78 μM. None of the potential interferents investigated (NaHS, NH4OH, NaSCN, and human serum albumin) produced a signal that could be interpreted as a false positive or a false negative for cyanide exposure. Most importantly, the sensor was 100% accurate in diagnosing cyanide poisoning for acutely exposed rabbits.

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