A rapid-screening approach to detect and quantify microplastics based on fluorescent tagging with Nile Red

Maes, Thomas, Jessop, Rebecca, Wellner, Nikolaus, Haupt, Karsten and Mayes, Andrew G. (2017) A rapid-screening approach to detect and quantify microplastics based on fluorescent tagging with Nile Red. Scientific Reports, 7. ISSN 2045-2322

[img] PDF (Published manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (910kB)

Abstract

A new approach is presented for analysis of microplastics in environmental samples, based on selective fluorescent staining using Nile Red (NR), followed by density-based extraction and filtration. The dye adsorbs onto plastic surfaces and renders them fluorescent when irradiated with blue light. Fluorescence emission is detected using simple photography through an orange filter. Image-analysis allows fluorescent particles to be identified and counted. Magnified images can be recorded and tiled to cover the whole filter area, allowing particles down to a few micrometres to be detected. The solvatochromic nature of Nile Red also offers the possibility of plastic categorisation based on surface polarity characteristics of identified particles. This article details the development of this staining method and its initial cross-validation by comparison with infrared (IR) microscopy. Microplastics of different sizes could be detected and counted in marine sediment samples. The fluorescence staining identified the same particles as those found by scanning a filter area with IR-microscopy.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 00:42
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 01:28
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/63095
DOI: 10.1038/srep44501

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item