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Applicability of a field-portable toxic heavy metal detector, using a radioisotope-tagged metalloprotein, to DOE environmental remediation and waste minimization initiatives

Description: A system based on the metal-binding kidney protein, metallothionein, bound with a trace quantity of radioactive metal, has been shown to be capable of detecting parts-per-million (ppm) to parts-per-billion (ppb) concentrations of some heavy metals in liquid solution. The main objective of this study was to determine if this type of system has adequate sensitivity and selectivity for application in detecting a number of metallic species of concern to DOE, such as mercury, lead, and chromium. An affinity-displacement study is reported here using the heavy metal radiotracers {sup 65}Zn and {sup 109}Cd bound to metallothionein immobilized on an Affi-Gel 10 filter support. When a heavy metal solution with a greater affinity than the tracer for the protein is poured through the filter the radiotracer is displaced by a mechanism similar to ion exchange. The main objective of this study was to verify previous internal experimental parameters and results, and to determine the specific affinities of metallothionein for the metallic species of most concern to DOE.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Randles, K.E.; Bragg, D.J.; Bodette, D.E.; Lipinski, R.J. & Luera, T.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department