ABSTRACT: A sensitive and simple assay for the detection of Pb(2+) in aqueous solutions is reported. It takes advantage of the high affinity between single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) as well as the capability of SWCNT in fluorescence quenching. Lead(II) catalyzes the cleavage of a fluorescently labeled DNA substrate by a DNAzyme, which releases the single-stranded product to be adsorbed onto a SWCNT. The decrease in fluorescence is proportional to the Pb(2+) concentration. Concentrations as low as 1 nM Pb(2+) in water could be detected and the detection range spans over 5 orders of magnitude. The unique combination of Pb-specific DNAzyme with SWCNT produces a universal, facile and cost-effective sensing platform for lead ions. The concept can be applied to the design of detection assays for other metal ions or small molecules.
The Analyst 02/2011; 136(4):764-8. · 4.23 Impact Factor