Gold nonoparticles as selective and concentrating probes for samples in MALDI MS analysis

Chien Hsun Teng, Kun Chan Ho, Ya Shiuan Lin, Yu-Chie Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations


MALDI mass spectrometry is used widely in various fields because it has the characteristics of speed, ease of use, high sensitivity, and wide detectable mass range, but suppression effects between analyte molecules and interference from the sample matrix frequently arise during MALDI analysis. The suppression effects can be avoided if target species are isolated from complicated matrix solutions in advance. Herein, we proposed a novel method for achieving such a goal. We describe a strategy that uses gold nanoparticles to capture charged species from a sample solution. Generally, ionic agents, such as anionic or cationic stabilizers, encapsulate gold nanoparticles to prevent their aggregation in solution. These charged stabilizers at the surface of the gold particles are capable of attracting oppositely charged species from a sample solution through electrostatic interactions. We have employed this concept to develop nanoparticle-based probes that selectively trap and concentrate target species in sample solutions. Additionally, to readily isolate them from solution after attracting their target species, we used gold nanoparticles that are adhered to the surface of magnetic particles through S-Au bonding. A magnet can then be employed to isolate the Au@magnetic particles from the solution. The species trapped by the isolated particles were then characterized by MALDI MS after a simple washing. We demonstrate that Au@magnetic particles having negatively charged surfaces are suitable probes for selectively trapping positively charged proteins from aqueous solutions. In addition, we have employed Au@magnetic particle-based probes successfully to concentrate low amounts of peptide residues from the tryptic digest products of cytochrome c (10-7 M).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4337-4342
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2004

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