Dr. Bruce Heyen
Scholarship of Discovery
The formation of a fluorescent biosensor complex consisting of 5 nm diameter gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) was conducted using a low-cost, efficient binding method. The analytical potential for the complex to detect mercuric ions (Hg2+) in an aqueous solution was assessed through the collection of UV-vis and fluorescence spectrometry data for the AuNP-ssDNA complex. The researcher aimed to investigate this potential in case the nanoparticles formed utilizing this method were too small to result in detectable fluorescence. To eliminate this possibility, the complex synthesized from this specific method was qualitatively evaluated to determine if it consistently and reproducibly provides results that would be clearly indicative of the presence of Hg2+. It was discovered that samples of the mercury-bound complex did not yield a consistent quenching for the fluorescence peak observed, as the peak height possessed a high standard deviation for the relatively small mean intensity. In addition, the methods for confirming the formation of the complex itself were not successful in showing a clear result.
Zagajowski, Madalyn, "Survey of the Performance of 5 nm Gold Nanoparticles Within an ssDNA-Stabilized Biosensor for the Detection of Hg2+" (2023). Honors Program Projects. 143.