Quantification of carbon nanotubes in different environmental matrices by a microwave induced heating method.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been widely applied in many industrial fields. As world production of CNTs increases, the risk of environmental exposure to CNTs also increases. Therefore, to evaluate the impact on the environment, many cell and animal studies have reported on the toxicity of CNTs. It is important to determine the degree of contamination of CNTs in soil and to find the pollution pathways for assessment of the environmental toxicity of CNTs. However, selective detection methods for CNTs in soil or water have rarely been reported. In the present study, a novel technique was developed to quantify the amount of CNTs in soil mixtures using fluorescent SYBR Green I dye after isolation of the CNTs with specific DNA oligomers. As a result, a limit of detection of CNTs in soil was obtained in the range of 250 ppb. This limit can easily be extended to the level of 10 ppb using magnetic well plates with a greater capacity. This method also worked well in the presence of graphene oxide and could be applied to the detection of CNTs in a variety of surroundings (e.g., fish and other tissues).