Molecular sensor for selective detection of mercury in fish

J.L. Diaz-García, E. González
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana,

Keywords: nanotechnology, sensors, environmental health, nanomaterials


Of the advantages offered by advances bio and nanotechnology, the sensing capabilities for detection and measurement of toxic analytes present in air, water and soil have increased considerably. Molecular sensors or based on nanomaterials, have substantially improved the problems of portability, cost and sensitivity. However, the development of sensors for In situ detection and measurement of toxic analytes in foods such as fish for human consumption is still incipient. A careful study of technological vigilance of the methodologies that are currently used for the measurement of a toxic analyte like mercury in fish is presented. The use of conventional methodologies and instrumentation are still those used because offer a high sensitivity and reproducibility, but nevertheless they present limitations in cost, portability and times in the processing of the results. Insufficiency in new instrumental and methodological proposals is identified. This raises the urgent need for research and development of experimental methodologies and instrumentation for In situ detection and measurement of mercury in fish for human consumption. The present work, the detection of mercury in tissues and organs of fish by molecular sensor is presented. A fluorescent sensing probe as a detection mechanism is incorporated. The fluorophore used is obtained from a precursor of plant origin. Based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to improve sensitivity and allow calibration tasks is used. The detection at the molecular level with high sensitivity of mercury in fish, provides tools for future research involving processes of mobility, bioaccumulation and biomagnification of mercury in organs and animal tissues.