Nanogel-based sensors with dual temperature and mercury ion detection capabilities is reported in this ‘Hot Article’ from Changhua Li and Shiyong Liu from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. This is the first report of successful integration of stimuli-responsive nanogels with well-developed small molecule reaction-based selective metal ion sensing moieties.
Mercury is one of the most harmful heavy metal ions to humans, therefore sensitive detection and imaging in organisms and tissue is crucial. To achieve this, current efforts have focused on the invention of ratiometric, water-soluble, and cell-permeable Hg2+-sensing ensembles.
In this study, Li and Liu synthesise a 1,8-naphthalimide-based polarity-sensitive and Hg2+-reactive monomer (NPTUA) and copolymerise this with N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) to produce NUPTA labelled PNIPAM nanogels. The nanogel-based chemosensors possess a high selectivity and sensitivity for Hg2+ at room temperature, achieving a detection limit at the nanomolar level on a ratiometric basis. Furthermore, thermo-induced nanogel collapse can considerably enhance the detection sensitivity.
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Responsive nanogel-based dual fluorescent sensors for temperature and Hg2+ ions with enhanced detection sensitivity
Changhua Li and Shiyong Liu
J. Mater. Chem., 2010, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01828G, Paper