Fluorimetric determinations of nucleic acids using iron, osmium and samarium complexes of 4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline

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New sensitive, reliable and reproducible fluorimetric methods for determining microgram amounts of nucleic acids based on their reactions with Fe(II), Os(III) or Sm(III) complexes of 4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline are proposed. Two complementary single stranded synthetic DNA sequences based on calf thymus as well as their hybridized double stranded were used. Nucleic acids were found to react instantaneously at room temperature in Tris-Cl buffer pH 7, with the investigated complexes resulting in decreasing their fluorescence emission. Two fluorescence peaks around 388 and 567 nm were obtained for the three complexes using excitation λmax of 280 nm and were used for this investigation. Linear calibration graphs in the range 1-6 μg/ml were obtained. Detection limits of 0.35-0.98 μg/ml were obtained. Using the calibration graphs for the synthetic dsDNA, relative standard deviations of 2.0-5.0% were obtained for analyzing DNA in the extraction products from calf thymus and human blood. Corresponding Recovery% of 80-114 were obtained. Student's t-values at 95% confidence level showed insignificant difference between the real and measured values. Results obtained by these methods were compared with the ethidium bromide method using the F-test and satisfactory results were obtained. The association constants and number of binding sites of synthetic ssDNA and dsDNA with the three complexes were estimated using Rosenthanl graphic method. The interaction mechanism was discussed and an intercalation mechanism was suggested for the binding reaction between nucleic acids and the three complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Bathophenanthroline
  • Chemical sensors
  • Complexes
  • DNA
  • Determination
  • Fluorimetry
  • Iron
  • Nucleic acids
  • Osmium
  • Samarium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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