Silver(I) Ions Ultrasensitive Detection at Carbon Electrodes—Analysis of Waters, Tobacco Cells and Fish Tissues


We used carbon paste electrodes and a standard potentiostat to detect silver ions. The detection limit (3 Signal/Noise ratio) was estimated as 0.5 μM. A standard electrochemical instrument microanalysis of silver(I) ions was suggested. As a working electrode a carbon tip (1 mL) or carbon pencil was used. Limits of detection estimated by dilution of a standard were 1 (carbon tip) or 10 nM (carbon pencil). Further we employed flow injection analysis coupled with carbon tip to detect silver(I) ions released in various beverages and mineral waters. During first, second and third week the amount of silver(I) ions releasing into water samples was under the detection limit of the technique used for their quantification. At the end of a thirteen weeks long experiment the content of silver(I) ions was several times higher compared to the beginning of release detected in the third week and was on the order of tens of nanomoles. In subsequent experiments the influence of silver(I) ions (0, 5 and 10 μM) on a plant model system (tobacco BY-2 cells) during a four-day exposition was investigated. Silver(I) ions were highly toxic to the cells, which was revealed by a double staining viability assay. Moreover we investigated the effect of silver(I) ions (0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2 and 2.5 μM) on guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Content of Ag(I) increased with increasing time of the treatment and applied concentrations in fish tissues. It can be concluded that a carbon tip or carbon pencil coupled with a miniaturized potentiostat can be used for detection of silver(I) ions in environmental samples and thus represents a small, portable, low cost and easy-to-use instrument for such purposes

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