Application of Nanoanalysis: Amine-Functionalized Mesoporous Silica nanoparticles for Mercury Speciation in Human Samples

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Medical Nanotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Sciences & Technology, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, (IAUPS), Tehran, Iran

2 Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), West Entrance Blvd., Olympic Village, Tehran, Iran


Mercury (Hg) causes hazardous cumulative effects in humans; like central nervous system disorders,
hypertension and chromosomal aberrations. Therefore, due to high toxicity and bioaccumulation
factor, mercury determination and speciation in human blood is very important. A sensitive,
accurate, precise and inexpensive method was demonstrated for preconcentration and speciation
of ultra-trace mercury in human blood samples. The amine-functionalized mesoporous silica
nanoparticles (NH2-MSNPs) as solid phase sorbent was prepared and investigated in a new and
simple dispersive-ionic liquid-micro-solid phase extraction (D-IL-μ-SPE) procedure for rapid
speciation and determination of trace inorganic and organic mercury [Hg+2 , (CH3Hg)+ and (C2H5Hg)+]
in human blood samples. Under the optimal conditions, the linear range, limit of detection and
preconcentration factor were obtained 0.05-9.8 μg L−1, 15 ng L−1 and 9.6 for human blood samples,
respectively (Peak Area, RSD<5%). The reusability and batch adsorption capacity of the MSNPs
and NH2-MSNPs were also obtained 25 and 159 mg g-1, respectively. The developed method was
successfully applied for validation of methodology by standard reference materials (SRM).