Trace-level mercury ion (Hg2+) analysis in aqueous sample based on solid-phase extraction followed by microfluidic immunoassay

Yasumoto Date, Arata Aota, Shingo Terakado, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Norio Matsumoto, Yoshitomo Watanabe, Tomokazu Matsue, Naoya Ohmura

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Mercury is considered the most important heavy-metal pollutant, because of the likelihood of bioaccumulation and toxicity. Monitoring widespread ionic mercury (Hg2+) contamination requires high-throughput and cost-effective methods to screen large numbers of environmental samples. In this study, we developed a simple and sensitive analysis for Hg2+ in environmental aqueous samples by combining a microfluidic immunoassay and solid-phase extraction (SPE). Using a microfluidic platform, an ultrasensitive Hg2+ immunoassay, which yields results within only 10 min and with a lower detection limit (LOD) of 0.13 μg/L, was developed. To allow application of the developed immunoassay to actual environmental aqueous samples, we developed an ion-exchange resin (IER)-based SPE for selective Hg2+ extraction from an ion mixture. When using optimized SPE conditions, followed by the microfluidic immunoassay, the LOD of the assay was 0.83 μg/L, which satisfied the guideline values for drinking water suggested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (2 μg/L; total mercury), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) (6 μg/L; inorganic mercury). Actual water samples, including tap water, mineral water, and river water, which had been spiked with trace levels of Hg2+, were well-analyzed by SPE, followed by microfluidic Hg2+ immunoassay, and the results agreed with those obtained from reduction vaporizing-atomic adsorption spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 2


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