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New facile method to measure cyanide in blood.

  • Author(s): Blackledge, William C;
  • Blackledge, Charles W;
  • Griesel, Alexa;
  • Mahon, Sari B;
  • Brenner, Matthew;
  • Pilz, Renate B;
  • Boss, Gerry R
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Cyanide, a well-known toxic substance that could be used as a weapon of mass destruction, is likely responsible for a substantial percentage of smoke inhalation deaths. The vitamin B(12) precursor cobinamide binds cyanide with high affinity, changing color and, correspondingly, its spectrophotometric spectrum in the ultraviolet/visible light range. Based on these spectral changes, we developed a new facile method to measure cyanide in blood using cobinamide. The limit of detection was 0.25 nmol, while the limit of quantitation was approximately 0.5 nmol. The method was reliable, requires minimal equipment, and correlated well with a previously established method. Moreover, we adapted it for rapid qualitative assessment of cyanide concentration, which could be used in the field to identify cyanide-poisoned subjects for immediate treatment.

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