Research Developments in Research Content
April 24, 2023
Hainan University's New Detection Technology will Effectively Warn Marine Nuclear Contaminants

Science and Technology Daily (Reporter Wang Zhuhua, Intern Qu Yizhen, Correspondent Wang Qunsheng and Gao Tianyang)

The reporter learned from Hainan University on the 24th, Wang Ning and Yuan Yihui's team from State Key Laboratory of Marine Resources Utilization in South China Sea proposed the use of DNA structure to achieve ultra-sensitive and highly selective strontium ion detection, which can be quickly and effectively realize the monitoring of marine radioactive pollutants, and help the nuclear power industry to achieve green and sustainable high-quality development. The relevant findings were published in Nature Sustainability, the international academic journal.

With the wide application of nuclear energy, the prevention and control of radioactive nuclear pollution has become a topic of concern. As a fission product of 235U, 90Sr is one of the most common radioactive nuclear contaminating elements. With a chemical nature similar to calcium, it is easy to be enriched in the environment and living organisms, which radiation to the human body can cause bone cancer, leukemia and other diseases. In addition, because of its half-life of up to 29 years, it has long-term harm and is a major hidden danger that human beings can not be ignored. However, due to the lack of characteristic energy rays of strontium ions, strontium element detection cannot be carried out quickly, comprehensively and accurately using the existing technology. Therefore, how to accurately detect it has always been a difficult problem in the industry.

In view of this, the research team of Wang Ning and Yuan Yihui proposed a method to achieve ultra-sensitive and highly selective detection of Sr2+ ions with a G-quadruplex DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) structure. The team did this by using the fluorescent dye thioflavin T to trigger DNA folding to form a G-quadruplex DNA structure, and utilizing the high binding affinity of Sr2+ to this DNA structure to displace the fluorescent dye thioflavin T in the structure, which led to an attenuation of the fluorescence intensity.

This study provides a methodology for a rapid and highly selective nuclear contamination detection technique, realizing for the first time a detection limit as low as 2.11 nM, boasting ultra-high sensitivity, high selectivity, broad applicability and high reliability.

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