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Sensors 2009, 9(7), 5446-5459; doi:10.3390/s90705446

Sensing Mercury for Biomedical and Environmental Monitoring

1
Department of Chemistry, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
2
Environmental Analytical Research Laboratory, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
3
Tribal Environmental Science Department, United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND 58504, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 May 2009 / Revised: 26 June 2009 / Accepted: 8 July 2009 / Published: 9 July 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Chemosensors)
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Abstract

Mercury is a very toxic element that is widely spread in the atmosphere, lithosphere, and surface water. Concentrated mercury poses serious problems to human health, as bioaccumulation of mercury within the brain and kidneys ultimately leads to neurological diseases. To control mercury pollution and reduce mercury damage to human health, sensitive determination of mercury is important. This article summarizes some current sensors for the determination of both abiotic and biotic mercury. A wide array of sensors for monitoring mercury is described, including biosensors and chemical sensors, while piezoelectric and microcantilever sensors are also described. Additionally, newly developed nanomaterials offer great potential for fabricating novel mercury sensors. Some of the functional fluorescent nanosensors for the determination of mercury are covered. Afterwards, the in vivo determination of mercury and the characterization of different forms of mercury are discussed. Finally, the future direction for mercury detection is outlined, suggesting that nanomaterials may provide revolutionary tools in biomedical and environmental monitoring of mercury.
Keywords: determination of mercury; sensors; nanomaterials; mercury pollution; fluorescence determination of mercury; sensors; nanomaterials; mercury pollution; fluorescence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Selid, P.D.; Xu, H.; Collins, E.M.; Striped Face-Collins, M.; Zhao, J.X. Sensing Mercury for Biomedical and Environmental Monitoring. Sensors 2009, 9, 5446-5459.

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