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Analytical advantages of copolymeric microspheres for fluorimetric sensing – tuneable sensitivity sensors and titration agents

Stelmach, Emilia, Maksymiuk, Krzysztof, Michalska, Agata
Talanta 2016
cations, composite polymers, fluorometry, pH, potassium, titration, transducers (equipment), zinc
Analytical benefits related to application of copolymeric microspheres containing different number of carboxylic acid mers have been studied on example of acrylate copolymers. These structures can be used as a reagent in heterogeneous pH titration, benefiting from different number of reactive groups – i.e. different concentration of a titrant - within the series of copolymers. Thus introducing the same amount of different microspheres from a series to the sample, different amount of the titrant is introduced.Copolymeric microspheres also can be used as optical sensors – in this respect the increasing number of reactive groups in the series is useful to improve the analytical performance of microprobes – sensitivity of determination or/and response range. The increase in ion-permeability of the spheres with increasing number of reactive mers is advantageous. It is shown that for pH sensitive microspheres containing higher number of carboxyl groups the higher sensitivity for alkaline pH samples is observed for an indicator present in the beads. The significant increase of optical responses is related to enhanced ion transport within the microspheres.For zinc or potassium ions model sensors tested it was shown that by choice of pH conditions and type of microspheres from the series, the optical responses can be tuned – to enhance sensitivity for analyte concentration change as well as to change the response pattern from sigmoidal (higher sensitivity, narrow range) to linear (broader response range). For classical optode systems (e.g. microspheres containing an optical transducer – pH sensitive dye and optically silent ionophore - receptor) copolymeric microspheres containing carboxylic acid mers in their structure allow application of the sensor in alkaline pH range, which is usually inaccessible for applied optical transducer.