We have developed a chip-based scanometric method for the detection of mercuric ion (Hg2+). This method takes advantage of the cooperative binding and catalytic properties of DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles and the selective binding of a thymine-thymine mismatch for Hg2+. The limit of detection of this assay in buffer and environmentally relevant samples (lake water) is 10 nM (2 ppb) Hg2+, which is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit of [Hg2+] for drinkable water and 1 order of magnitude lower than previous colorimetric assays. This assay is capable of discriminating Hg2+ from 15 other environmentally relevant metal ions. The method is attractive for potential point-of-use applications due to its high throughput, convenient readout, and portability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry