Exploration of Aurone System in Mercury Sensing

Koda Hengstenberg, Dr. Scott Handy, Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, 1301 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Mercury remains one of the most toxic heavy metal pollutants today. Mercury finds its way into ecosystems through air, water, soil and many natural processes. For this reason, it is necessary in identifying mercury at a microscopic level; fast, reliable and safe techniques are vital for early detection. Some of the many symptoms from mercury poisoning include, loss of neurons with reactive proliferation of glial cells, microvacation, vascular congestion petechial hemorrhage and edema. With the effects ultimately leading to death, it is fundamental that detection is prioritized. In particular to aurones, they offer fast and predictable results while also negating the use of harmful UV-light because of the high photostabilities. It has been concluded that the aurone base could provide a source of a reactive alkene, capable of an oxymercuration reaction necessary in detection. Reacting with an alkene to form a cyclic mercury compound, the UV/Fluorescence properties are hypothesized to change, ultimately providing for an “ON-OFF” switch. The 4-hydroxyallylaurone showed great results when reacting with mercury in an aqueous environment. Shifts in fluorescence intensity provided an “ON-OFF” switch, but modifications to overall structure could increase the disparity in fluorescence intensity after mercuration.. Enhancing the specificity and sensitivity of the reaction with respect to fluorescence will create a simple detector molecule capable of detecting mercury ions present in concentrations lower than those deemed toxic by the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in safe drinking water (2.0 ppb).

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Koda Hengstenberg

Institution: Middle Tennessee State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Chemistry

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6042