HDR Seminar: Ms Amy Bowyer; The University of Sydney
Monday, 8 August 4:00pm – 5:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemisty Lecture Theatre 4 and Zoom online. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Ms Amy Bowyer; The University of Sydney
Supervisor: Prof. Liz New
Title: Fluorescence sensing approaches to environmental heavy metal detection
Abstract: Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, are extremely toxic; they cause serious adverse human health effects at micromolar blood levels. As a result, it is important to monitor heavy metal ion levels in water sources to minimise human exposure. At present, heavy metal ion analysis is predominantly conducted in laboratory facilities with expensive equipment, making on-site testing unfeasible. Optical sensors, such as small molecule fluorescent probes, have the advantage of requiring less expensive machinery and analytical expertise, while retaining high sensitivity.
This seminar will detail two fluorescence-based approaches to environmental toxic metal detection. In the first approach, a novel BODIPY-based fluorescent sensor was synthesised and evaluated as a selective probe for Pb2+. Selectivity was achieved using a dipicolinate chelating group that produced a ratiometric, turn-on response to Pb2+ in a completely aqueous solvent. This marks the first time that a chelating group from a known selective Pb2+ probe has been applied to a different fluorescent scaffold to retain Pb2+ selectivity. In the second approach, cross-reactive sensing arrays consisting of a minimal number of simple coumarin sensors were used to accurately discriminate between toxic and essential metal ions in a variety of sample environments, including tap water, pond water and dam water.