Gold and DNA Join Forces to Detect Mercury

  • Author: Victoria Barton
  • Published Date: 11 January 2011
  • Source / Publisher: Chemistry - A European Journal/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Gold and DNA Join Forces to Detect Mercury

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There's something in the water — Aquatically-derived food supplies often contain the water-soluble mercuric ion (Hg2+), which is toxic to humans.


Kim et al, KAIST, Korea, report an ultrasensitive and selective single gold nanowire-on-film (SNOF) surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering sensor (SERS) for Hg2+ detection. The sensor is based on structure-switching double stranded DNAs; when Hg2+ is bound, a conformational change occurs enabling a Raman reporter to get close to the single gold nanowire-on film structure and turn on the signal.


The SNOF sensor has a detection limit of 100 pM, about 50 times lower than previously reported nucleic-acid-based Hg2+ SERS sensors. The sensor also exhibited good reproducibility, high selectivity, long-term stability, and reusability.


Development of a multiplex sensor of various ions may also be possible by combining nanowires modified by multiple types of nucleic-acid-binding macromolecules.

Image: (c) Wiley-VCH


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1 Comments

Suham Towfiq Ameen wrote:

Mercury for amino acide detection

detection by using FIA

Sat Jan 15 19:47:14 UTC 2011

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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH