Navigation Links
Pitt researchers use fluorescence to develop method for detecting mercury in fish
Date:11/18/2008

PITTSBURGHResearchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a simple and quick method for detecting mercury in fish and dental samples, two substances at the center of public concern about mercury contamination. The technique involves a fluorescent substance that glows bright green when it comes into contact with oxidized mercury, the researchers report in the current online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The intensity of the glow indicates the amount of mercury present.

Developed in the laboratory of Kazunori Koide (Ko-ee-deh), a chemistry professor in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences, the new method can be used onsite and can detect mercury in 30 to 60 minutes for dental fillings (or amalgams) or 10 to 30 minutes for fish, Koide explained. "Our method could be used in the fish market or the dentist office," he said. "We have developed a reliable indicator for mercury that a person could easily and safely use at home."

The fluorescence results from the reaction of mercury ions with hydrocarbons called alkynesthe alkyne is converted into a ketone and creates a fluorescent molecule. Koide's method differs from similar mercury indicators in that it withstands the oxidation process mercury samples must undergo prior to testing, Koide said. The mercury species found in most fish and dental amalgamssuch as the toxic methyl mercurymust be converted into a safer variety of mercury with an oxidizing agent. Other fluorescent detectors are often not compatible with samples that have been oxidized.

In testing fish, Koide and his team oxidized a piece of salmon (about the size of a fingertip) in water mixed with a chlorine solution similar to household bleach. The conversion process is safe and relatively simple, Koide said. Afterward, the team added the alkyne solution and the mixture glowed bright green.

The Pitt researchers also tested for mercury leaching from dental amalgam, a common tooth filling composed primarily of mercury mixed with smaller amounts of other metals. Concern exists about the mercury seeping from a filling into a person's body and about the disposal of unused amalgam by dentist offices (which is not federally regulated in the United States). To test for leaching, the team pressed a cloth to a tooth with an amalgam filling for one minute; the sample glowed when exposed to the mercury-detecting agent. They also submerged two amalgam-filled teeth in the amino acid cysteine to mimic sulfur-rich foods, which are thought to increase mercury seepage from amalgam. Again, the cysteine solution turned bright green when the indicator was added, suggesting that Koide's method can also be used to monitor mercury leaching caused by sulfur-rich food.

In terms of amalgam disposal, Koide suggested that his method could be used to test dentist office wastewater for mercury content onsite without sending samples to analytical laboratories.


'/>"/>

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
2. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
3. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
4. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
5. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
6. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
8. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
9. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
10. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
11. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/16/2016)... Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ., ... security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran , ... retail industry, today announced a global partnership that ... to authenticate users of mobile banking and mobile ... software which requires no specialized biometric scanners, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... The report forecasts the biometrics ... a CAGR of 12.28% during the period 2016-2020. ... with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape ... includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... soon resume cervical and lumbar disc production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be ... are implanting the AxioMed disc in Cologne and Karlsruhe to discuss the benefits ...
(Date:12/5/2016)...  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing gene ... chronic diseases, announced that Catherine Bovenizer , ... Officer (CFO), effective today. Ms. Bovenizer ... in financial management for a variety of public ... recently, Ms. Bovenizer was the Vice President of ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. , Dec. 5, 2016 NxGen MDx ... "By bringing the test in house, we,ve been able to improve ... costs down for patients," says Alan Mack , CEO of NxGen ... , , ... increase in test volume has led to more job opportunities at the ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 5, 2016 ... new report "DNA Sequencing - Technologies, Markets and Companies" ... ... This report briefly reviews basics of human genome variations, development ... sequencers are described as well as companies developing them. Various ...
Breaking Biology Technology: