Method development for detecting metals in human nails and hair using an indigo-spiropyran sensor.
The main goal of this study was to design a nitrospiropyran-indigo based sensor for detecting metal concentration in human samples. The dye indigo and its derivatives form a complex with different metal ions such as Cu²⁺ and Pb²⁺ in carbonate buffer solution at pH 10. UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence emission spectra of these complexes reacting with 1,2-hydroxyethyl-3,3-dimethylindoline-6-nitrobensopyrylospiran (SPOH) were investigated in aqueous media. Solutions comprised of two dyes, spiropyran and indigo or indigo derivatives, and varying concentrations of metal ions were analyzed by UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence emission spectrophotometric methods, resulting in calibration curves that are useful for the detection and determination of the concentration of copper and lead ions in human samples. Different pH conditions were tested to determine the pH range in which this metal cation sensor is most effective. Results show that neutral and buffered media gave the most useful results. This research may contribute to the development of cost-effective detection methods for metals in human body samples, such as hair and nails. Furthermore, results from tests could be used for early metal ion deficiency prevention and the study of interrelations between human diseases and essential metal cations (M²⁺).
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