Speciation analysis of aluminium(III) in natural waters and biological fluids by complexing with various catechols followed by differential pulse voltammetry detection
The biological effects of aluminium have received much attention in recent years. Speciation of Al is of basic relevance as it concerns its reactivity and bioavailability. A differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) procedure is proposed for speciation analysis of AlIII in natural waters and biological fluids using six catechols (L-dopa, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, caffeic acid and o-benzenediol) as electroactive ligands. The decrease of the DPV anodic peak current for each catechol ligand is linear with the increase of Al concentration. This speciation analysis idea is based on the measurement of the complexation capacity, namely, different affinities of AlIII for catechols and organic ligands under two pH conditions. The labile monomeric Al fraction (mainly inorganic aluminium) is determined at pH 4.6, while the total monomeric Al fraction is determined at pH 8.5. The principle for AlIII speciation analysis by an electrochemical method is discussed. This sensitive and simple fractionation method is successfully applied to the speciation analysis of Al in natural waters and the results agree well with those of Driscoll’s method. The speciation analysis of Al in biological fluids is also explored and the results are compared with those obtained by ultrafiltration and dialysis. Compared with other speciation protocols the electrochemical method possesses some remarkable advantages: rapidity, high sensitivity, cheap instrumentation and a simple operation procedure.