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Erratum published on 5 May 2017, see Biosensors 2017, 7(2), 18.

Open AccessArticle
Biosensors 2017, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/bios7010014

A Simple Metallothionein-Based Biosensor for Enhanced Detection of Arsenic and Mercury

Department of Chemistry, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 5b7 Canada
Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616 Singapore, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jeff D. Newman
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of cysteine-rich proteins whose biological roles include the regulation of essential metal ions and protection against the harmful effects of toxic metals. Due to its high affinity for many toxic, soft metals, recombinant human MT isoform 1a was incorporated into an electrochemical-based biosensor for the detection of As3+ and Hg2+. A simple design was chosen to maximize its potential in environmental monitoring and MT was physically adsorbed onto paper discs placed on screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs). This system was tested with concentrations of arsenic and mercury typical of contaminated water sources ranging from 5 to 1000 ppb. The analytical performance of the MT-adsorbed paper discs on SPCEs demonstrated a greater than three-fold signal enhancement and a lower detection limit compared to blank SPCEs, 13 ppb for As3+ and 45 ppb for Hg2+. While not being as low as some of the recommended drinking water limits, the sensitivity of the simple MT-biosensor would be potentially useful in monitoring of areas of concern with a known contamination problem. This paper describes the ability of the metal binding protein metallothionein to enhance the effectiveness of a simple, low-cost electrochemical sensor. View Full-Text
Keywords: paper-based biosensor; metallothionein; arsenic; mercury; green chemistry; screen-printed electrode paper-based biosensor; metallothionein; arsenic; mercury; green chemistry; screen-printed electrode

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Irvine, G.W.; Tan, S.N.; Stillman, M.J. A Simple Metallothionein-Based Biosensor for Enhanced Detection of Arsenic and Mercury. Biosensors 2017, 7, 14.

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