Cadmium selenium quantum dot based nanosensor with femto molar level sensitivity for the detection of the pesticide endosulfan

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Journal of Polymer Science and Engineering.
Endosulfan (6,7,8,9,10,10-Hexachloro-1,5,5a,6,9,9a-hexahydro-6,9-methano-2,4,3-benzodioxathiepine-3-oxide) is an off-patent insecticide used in agricultural farms. Its usage as a pesticide has become highly controversial during the last decades. This is due to its reported hazardous nature to the health and side effects like growth retardation, hydrocephalus, and undesired changes in the male and female hormones leading to complications in sexual maturity. Endosulfan is the main culprit among all pesticide poisoning incidents around the world. Though the usage of this dreaded pesticide is banned by most countries, the high stability of this molecule to withstand degradation for a long period poses a threat to mankind even today. So, it has become highly essential to detect the presence of this poisonous pesticide in the drinking water and milk around these places. It is also advisable to check the presence of this toxic material in the blood of the population living in and around these places so that an early and appropriate management strategy can be adopted. With this aim, we have developed a sensor for endosulfan that displayed high selectivity and sensitivity among all other common analytes in water and biological samples, with a wide linear concentration range (2 fM to 2 mM), a low detection limit (2 fM), and rapid response. A citrate functionalized cadmium selenium quantum dot was used for this purpose, which showed a concentration-dependent fluorescence enhancement, enabling easy and sensitive sensing. This sensor was utilized to detect endosulfan in different sources of water, human blood serum and milk samples with good recoveries. It is also noted that the quantum dot forms a stable complex with endosulfan and is easy to separate it from the contaminated source, paving a solution for purifying the contaminated water. More detailed tests and validation of the sensor is needed to confirm these observations.
Nair LV, Nair RV, Jayasree RS. Cadmium selenium quantum dot based nanosensor with femto molar level sensitivity for the detection of the pesticide endosulfan. Journal of Polymer Science and Engineering. 2024 6(1), 3208. Epub 2024 Jan 19