Sagar Tolani

Date of Graduation

Summer 2008


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Adam Wanekaya


Conducting polymers were used in this study to demonstrate their potential in remediation and sensing applications. The monomer was first synthesized and then used to electrochemically deposit the polymer nanowires. These nanowires were modified with a cysteine, which is a chelate that has a high binding affinity for heavy metals. The modified nanowires showed significant removal of heavy metals as As(III), Cd(II), Cu(II) and Pb(II) from spiked natural and bottled water samples. The same nanowires were also covalently attached to an antibody and then selectively bound to its corresponding antigen. Only 10mg of the nanowires removed almost 90% of As(III) within 45 minutes, removed 85% of Cd(II) within 5 minutes and also removed 99.9% of Cu(II) with 20 minutes from their respective spiked bottled water solutions. 10 mg of the nanowires also removed 94% of Cd(II) within 5 minutes, 35% of Pb(II) within 5 minutes and 86% of Cu(II) within 5 minutes from their respective spiked natural water samples. These nanowires also removed 79% of As(III) from a spiked water sample within two hours which translated to 157mg of As(III) per gram of the nanowires. This removal capacity of As(III) was far greater than any other material reported to date. The nanowires also showed covalent attachment to an antibody and successful binding to its corresponding antigen which was measured using a fluorescence marker. These nanowires have great potential as a conducting polymer to be used for the removal of toxins from the environment and as a biosensor in biomedial and defense applications.


heavy metals, conducting polymers, nanotechnology, remediation, biosensing

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