Spectrophotometric determinations of traces of selenium by catalytic reduction of tetranitro blue tetrazolium

Wayne C. Hawkes

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21 Scopus citations


The method is based on the catalytic effect of selenium on the reduction of tetranitro blue tetrazolium by dithiothreitol; it is simple, rapid and effective with several forms of selenium. With this catalytic assay, 1.2 ng of Se as selenite, 21 ng of Se as selenocysteine or 150 ng of Se as selenocystine can be detected (3 × SD). The relative standard deviations of the method are 2.7%, 5.4%, and 9.1% for the determinations of 0.2 μg, 2 μg, and 5 μg Se as selenite, selenocysteine, and selenocystine, respectively. The method is free of interferences from common ions and most of the interfering cations can be masked with organic acids. Data are included on the effects of pH, temperature, and reagent concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry

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