Spiropyran-based optical approaches for mercury ion sensing: Improving sensitivity and selectivity via cooperative ligation interactions using cysteine

Na Shao, Xiadi Gao, Hao Wang, Ronghua Yang*, Wing Hong CHAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spiropyrans are an attractive starting point in design of optical approaches for metal ions sensing. However, the high background in aqueous solution and non-specific chelation of the spiropyran with heavy metal ions has hindered their application as reliable sensors for environmental and biological species. Here, we report on a new spiropyran-based approach for sensitive and selective sensing of Hg2+ in aqueous solution, based on cooperative ligation interactions among the spiropyran probe, an intermediate, cysteine, and the metal ion. To test the feasibility of this design, three spiropyran scaffolds, L1-L3, with different ligation functions at the 8′-position were examined as model systems. The results demonstrate that by using cysteine, a potential ligand of Hg2+, the spiropyran could detect 1.0 × 10-7 M Hg2+ in aqueous solution. Due to the specific metal-amino acid interaction, the approach exhibits selective response toward Hg2+ over other metal ions and anions, although possible interference from Cu2+ has to be considered at the high level of the metal ion. This approach has been used for the determination of Hg2+ in water samples containing potential interferents with satisfactory recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Volume655
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cooperative interaction
  • Metal ions
  • Probe
  • Spiropyran

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