Nanoplastics are a global emerging environmental problem whose effects might pose potential threats to the human's health. Despite the relevance of the issue, fast, reliable and quantitative in situ analytical approaches to determine nanoplastics are not yet available. The aim of this work was to devise an optical sensor with the goal of direct detecting and quantifying nanoplastics in seawater without sample pre-treatments. To this purpose, a nano-plasmonic biosensor was developed by exploiting an Estrogen Receptor (ER) recognition element grafted onto a polymer-based gold nanograting (GNG) plasmonic platform. The ER-GNG biosensor required just minute sample volumes (2 μL), allowed rapid detection (3 min) and enabled to determine nanoplastics in simulated seawater with a linear dynamic concentrations range of 1–100 ng/mL, thus encompassing the expected environmental loads. The nanostructured grating (GNG) provided remarkable performance enhancements, extending the measurement range across five orders of magnitude, thanks to the both the SPR and the localized SPR phenomena occurring at the GNG chip. At last, the ER-GNG biosensor was tested on real seawater samples collected in the Naples area and the results (∼30 ng/mL) were verified by a conventional approach (filtration and evaporation), confirming the ER-GNG sensor offers a straightforward and highly sensitive method for the direct in-field nanoplastics monitoring.

A plasmonic gold nano-surface functionalized with the estrogen receptor for fast and highly sensitive detection of nanoplastics

Arcadio F.;Cennamo N.;Zeni L.;
2024

Abstract

Nanoplastics are a global emerging environmental problem whose effects might pose potential threats to the human's health. Despite the relevance of the issue, fast, reliable and quantitative in situ analytical approaches to determine nanoplastics are not yet available. The aim of this work was to devise an optical sensor with the goal of direct detecting and quantifying nanoplastics in seawater without sample pre-treatments. To this purpose, a nano-plasmonic biosensor was developed by exploiting an Estrogen Receptor (ER) recognition element grafted onto a polymer-based gold nanograting (GNG) plasmonic platform. The ER-GNG biosensor required just minute sample volumes (2 μL), allowed rapid detection (3 min) and enabled to determine nanoplastics in simulated seawater with a linear dynamic concentrations range of 1–100 ng/mL, thus encompassing the expected environmental loads. The nanostructured grating (GNG) provided remarkable performance enhancements, extending the measurement range across five orders of magnitude, thanks to the both the SPR and the localized SPR phenomena occurring at the GNG chip. At last, the ER-GNG biosensor was tested on real seawater samples collected in the Naples area and the results (∼30 ng/mL) were verified by a conventional approach (filtration and evaporation), confirming the ER-GNG sensor offers a straightforward and highly sensitive method for the direct in-field nanoplastics monitoring.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/519981
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