Sensitive Colorimetric Detection of Nitrite Ions Based on the Aggregation of Gold Nanoparticles

Wednesday, 31 May 2017: 10:50
Grand Salon A - Section 4 (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
A. Kulkarni (Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida), V. Bird (Department of Urology, University of Florida College of Medicine), and K. J. Ziegler (Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida)
Determination of nitrite both environmentally and in life processes has been of importance as its presence above a threshold causes detrimental effects. Hence, there is a need to develop new, simple and highly sensitive analytical assays. Nitrite detection has been achieved through various methods, including chemiluminescence, electrochemistry, and surface-enhanced Raman scattering which involve use of expensive equipments, tedious procedures and time consumption.

However, colorimetric assays can provide visual, on-site analysis, providing a simple and instantaneous detection method. In this work, a facile colorimetic assay has been proposed based on anti-aggregation of gold nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles coated with aromatic amines react with nitrite ions that alter the aggregation state of the nanoparticles. The change to the aggregation state causes a shift in the local surface plasmon resonance bands, triggering a colorimetric response. An increase in the concentration of nitrite ions changes the color of the solution, which can be detected by the naked eye.

While many approaches have used thiol-based linkers, our use of disulphide cross-linkers, which bind more strongly to gold has increased the sensitivity of detection by an order of magnitude. Furthermore, the effect of this assay on synthetic urine has been explored to understand the effect of the presence of foreign ions on the detection of nitrite.

Keywords: Anti- aggregation, gold nanoparticles, surface plasmon, aromatic amines