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A critical review on the development of optical sensors for the determination of heavy metals in water samples. The case of mercury(II) ion



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American Chemical Society
Recent publications are reviewed concerning the development of sensors for the determination of mercury in drinking water, based on spectroscopic methodologies. A critical analysis is made of the specific details and figures of merit of the developed protocols. Special emphasis is directed to the validation and applicability to real samples in the usual concentration range of mercury, considering the maximum allowed limits in drinking water established by international regulations. It was found that while most publications describe in detail the synthesis, structure, and physicochemical properties of the sensing phases, they do not follow the state of the art in the analytical developments. Recommendations are provided regarding the proper method development and validation, including the setting of the calibration concentration range, the correct estimation of the limits of detection and quantitation, the concentration levels to be set for producing spiked water samples, the number of real samples for adequate validation, the comparison of the developed method with a reference technique, and other analytical features which should be followed.

Palabras clave

Catalytic DNA, Aptasensors, Genetic Procedures