Analytica Chimica Acta (v.880, #C)

A new colorimetric platform for ultrasensitive detection of protein and cancer cells based on the assembly of nucleic acids and proteins by Chaohui Chen; Yufei Liu; Zhenhua Zheng; Guohua Zhou; Xinghu Ji; Hanzhong Wang; Zhike He (1-7).
Display OmittedAn amplified colorimetric method has been developed for the detection of protein and cancer cells based on the assembly of nucleic acids and proteins for the first time. In this process, the assembly of nucleic acids was triggered by a biotinylated DNA strand after a sandwich immunoreaction. The biotinylated DNA strand and sandwich immunocomplex were connected by streptavidin. Then, the assembly of biotinylated bovine serum albumin (Biotin-BSA) and streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase (SA-HRP) occurred at a node of the assembled products of nucleic acids through the biotin-streptavidin reaction. Under the catalysis of horseradish peroxidase, 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) was oxidized by H2O2 and the oxidized product was analyzed by its UV–vis absorbance signal and sensitive colorimetric detection. This colorimetric sensor could not only achieve the quantitative determination of protein by UV–vis absorbance but could also be applied for semiquantitative determination by digital visualization. Using alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as the model target, this proposed colorimetric method showed a wide linear range from 5 pg/mL to 1 ng/mL with a detection limit of 1.95 pg/mL by the instrument, and even 5 pg/mL target protein could be distinguished simply by the naked eye. This approach was then expanded to detect cancer cells based on the recognition of folic acid receptors that were over-expressed on the cancer cells by folic acid-tethered DNA. More importantly, this strategy can be further used as a universal colorimetric method for the determination of viruses or other proteins by changing the corresponding antibodies.
Keywords: Assembly; Colorimetric; Amplification; Protein detection;

Display OmittedThe use of membrane-based sample preparation techniques in analytical chemistry has gained growing attention from the scientific community since the development of miniaturized sample preparation procedures in the 1990s. The use of membranes makes the microextraction procedures more stable, allowing the determination of analytes in complex and “dirty” samples. This review describes some characteristics of classical membrane-based microextraction techniques (membrane-protected solid-phase microextraction, hollow-fiber liquid-phase microextraction and hollow-fiber renewal liquid membrane) as well as some alternative configurations (thin film and electromembrane extraction) used successfully for the determination of different analytes in a large variety of matrices, some critical points regarding each technique are highlighted.
Keywords: Solid-phase microextraction; Hollow-fiber liquid-phase microextraction; Hollow-fiber renewal liquid membrane; Sample preparation; Membrane-based techniques;

Filter design for molecular factor computing using wavelet functions by Xiaoyong Li; Zhihong Xu; Wensheng Cai; Xueguang Shao (26-31).
Display OmittedMolecular factor computing (MFC) is a new strategy that employs chemometric methods in an optical instrument to obtain analytical results directly using an appropriate filter without data processing. In the present contribution, a method for designing an MFC filter using wavelet functions was proposed for spectroscopic analysis. In this method, the MFC filter is designed as a linear combination of a set of wavelet functions. A multiple linear regression model relating the concentration to the wavelet coefficients is constructed, so that the wavelet coefficients are obtained by projecting the spectra onto the selected wavelet functions. These wavelet functions are selected by optimizing the model using a genetic algorithm (GA). Once the MFC filter is obtained, the concentration of a sample can be calculated directly by projecting the spectrum onto the filter. With three NIR datasets of corn, wheat and blood, it was shown that the performance of the designed filter is better than that of the optimized partial least squares models, and commonly used signal processing methods, such as background correction and variable selection, were not needed. More importantly, the designed filter can be used as an MFC filter in designing MFC-based instruments.
Keywords: Molecular factor computing; Multivariate optical computing; Wavelet filter; Genetic algorithm; Near-infrared spectroscopy;

A new strategy to prevent over-fitting in partial least squares models based on model population analysis by Bai-Chuan Deng; Yong-Huan Yun; Yi-Zeng Liang; Dong-Sheng Cao; Qing-Song Xu; Lun-Zhao Yi; Xin Huang (32-41).
Display OmittedPartial least squares (PLS) is one of the most widely used methods for chemical modeling. However, like many other parameter tunable methods, it has strong tendency of over-fitting. Thus, a crucial step in PLS model building is to select the optimal number of latent variables (nLVs). Cross-validation (CV) is the most popular method for PLS model selection because it selects a model from the perspective of prediction ability. However, a clear minimum of prediction errors may not be obtained in CV which makes the model selection difficult. To solve the problem, we proposed a new strategy for PLS model selection which combines the cross-validated coefficient of determination ( Q c v 2 ) and model stability (S). S is defined as the stability of PLS regression vectors which is obtained using model population analysis (MPA). The results show that, when a clear maximum of Q c v 2 is not obtained, S can provide additional information of over-fitting and it helps in finding the optimal nLVs. Compared with other regression vector based indictors such as the Euclidean 2-norm (B2), the Durbin Watson statistic (DW) and the jaggedness (J), S is more sensitive to over-fitting. The model selected by our method has both good prediction ability and stability.
Keywords: Partial least squares; Over-fitting; Model population analysis; Model selection; Model stability; Cross-validation;

Display OmittedGlucose detection plays very important roles in diagnostics and management of diabetes. The search for novel catalytic materials with appropriate architectures is the key step in the fabrication of highly sensitive glucose sensors. In this work, α-Ni(OH)2 roselike structures (Ni(OH)2-RS) assembled from nanosheet building blocks were successfully synthesized by a hydrothermal method through the hydrolysis of nickel chloride in the mixed solvents of water and ethanol with the assistance of polyethylene glycol (PEG). The structure and morphology of the roselike α-Ni(OH)2 were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and N2 adsorption–desorption isotherm measurement. TEM and FE-SEM images showed that the synthesized Ni(OH)2 was roselike and the size of the leaf-shaped nanosheet was about 5 nm in thickness, which leads to larger active surface areas and faster electron transfer for the detection of glucose. Compared with the bare GCE and bulk Ni(OH)2/GCE, the Ni(OH)2-RS/GCE had higher catalytic activity toward the oxidation of glucose. Under the optimal conditions, the Ni(OH)2-RS/GCE offers a variety of merits, such as a wide linear response window for glucose concentrations ranging from 0.87 μM to 10.53 mM, short response time (3 s), a lower detection limit of 0.08 μM (S/N = 3), as well as long term stability and repeatability.
Keywords: Roselike α-Ni(OH)2; Glucose; Non-enzymatic glucose sensor; Electrocatalytic oxidation;

Sensitive and selective magnetoimmunosensing platform for determination of the food allergen Ara h 1 by V. Ruiz-Valdepeñas Montiel; S. Campuzano; A. Pellicanò; R.M. Torrente-Rodríguez; A.J. Reviejo; M.S. Cosio; J.M. Pingarrón (52-59).
Display OmittedA highly sensitive disposable amperometric immunosensor based on the use of magnetic beads (MBs) is described for determination of Ara h 1, the major peanut allergen, in only 2 h. The approach uses a sandwich configuration involving selective capture and biotinylated detector antibodies and carboxylic acid-modified MBs (HOOC-MBs). The MBs bearing the immunoconjugates are captured by a magnet placed under the surface of a disposable screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) and the affinity reactions are monitored amperometrically at −0.20 V (vs a Ag pseudo-reference electrode) in the presence of hydroquinone (HQ) as electron transfer mediator and upon addition of H2O2 as the enzyme substrate. The developed immunosensor exhibits a wide range of linearity between 20.8 and 1000.0 ng mL−1 Ara h 1, a detection limit of 6.3 ng mL−1, a great selectivity, a good reproducibility with a RSD of 6.3% for six different immunosensors and a useful lifetime of 25 days. The usefulness of the immunosensor was demonstrated by determining Ara h 1 in different matrices (food extracts and saliva). The results correlated properly with those provided by a commercial ELISA method offering a reliable and promising analytical screening tool in the development of user-friendly devices for on-site determination of Ara h 1.
Keywords: Ara h 1; Magnetic beads; Screen-printed electrode; Amperometric immunosensor; Food extracts; Saliva;

The novel proton-type ionic liquid (1-sulfobutyl-3-methylimidazolium hydrosulfate) doped polyaniline coating showed granular porous nanostructure and it had high self-EF values and extraction efficiency for amines.Display OmittedA novel proton-type ionic liquid doped polyaniline (HIL-doped PANI) coating was presented, which was prepared on a stainless steel wire by electrodeposition in an aqueous solution containing aniline and 1-sulfobutyl-3-methylimidazolium hydrosulfate. The HIL-doped PANI coating showed granular nanostructure and had large specific surface. When it was applied to the headspace solid-phase microextraction of several amines (i.e., aniline, N-methylaniline, 3-methylaniline, 2-chloroaniline and 3-chloroaniline), it showed high extraction efficiency. The enrichment factors were 191.8–343.9 for different amines, much higher than those of common PANI and commercial polydimethylsiloxane/divinylbenzene coatings. Coupled with gas chromatographic analysis, the linear ranges were 0.097–100 μg/L with correlation coefficients above 0.9942, and the detection limits were 0.012–0.048 μg/L (S/N = 3) for different amines. The relative standard deviations (RSD) were smaller than 8.1% for five successive measurements with single fiber and the fiber-to-fiber RSDs were 8.6–13.8% (n  = 5) for these amines. The proposed method was successfully applied to the extraction and determination of amines in organic waste water samples, and the recoveries were 78.3–112.8% for different analytes.
Keywords: Solid phase microextraction; Electropolymerization; Amines; Ionic liquid; Polyaniline;

Display OmittedRapid and selective enrichment of phosphopeptides from complex biological samples is essential and challenging in phosphorylated proteomics. In this work, for the first time, niobium ions were directly immobilized on the surface of polydopamine-coated magnetic microspheres through a facile and effective synthetic route. The Fe3O4@polydopamine-Nb5+ (denoted as Fe3O4@PD-Nb5+) microspheres possess merits of high hydrophilicity and good biological compatibility, and demonstrated low limit of detection (2 fmol). The selectivity was also basically satisfactory (β-casein:BSA = 1:500) to capture phosphopeptides. They were also successfully applied for enrichment of phosphopeptides from real biological samples such as human serum and nonfat milk. Compared with Fe3O4@PD-Ti4+ microspheres, the Fe3O4@PD-Nb5+ microspheres exhibit superior selectivity to multi-phosphorylated peptides, and thus may be complementary to the conventional IMAC materials.
Keywords: Niobium ions; Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography; Magnetic microspheres; Phosphopeptides;

Display OmittedMembrane proteins are one of promising targets for drug discovery because of the unique properties in physiological processes. Due to their low abundance and extremely hydrophobic nature, the analysis of membrane proteins is still a great challenge. In this work, an effective and in-situ method were developed to enrich and digest membrane proteins by adopting tresyl-functionalized porous polymer material. With tresyl groups, the material can effectively immobilize membrane proteins via covalent bonding on the surface. The material became a facile carrier to enrich membrane proteins from the rat liver in detergents and organic solvents owing to its outstanding binding capacity and excellent biocompatibility. Moreover, it was further applied in extraction tips to capture and in-situ digest the pretreatment membrane proteins in two different solutions. A total of 600 membrane proteins (51% of total protein groups) and 359 transmembrane proteins were identified by nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS in 4% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and similar results were achieved in the 60% methanol solution. All these results demonstrated that the new approach is of great promise for large-scale characterization of membrane proteins.
Keywords: Tresyl-functioned porous polymer material; Membrane proteins; Covalent bonding; Extraction tips; High performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry;

Display OmittedSteroids have important roles in the progress of pregnancy, and their study in maternal urine is a non-invasive method to monitor the steroid metabolome and its possible abnormalities. However, the current screening techniques of choice, namely immunoassays and gas and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, do not offer means for the rapid and non-targeted multi-analyte studies of large sample sets. In this study, we explore the feasibility of two ambient mass spectrometry methods in steroid fingerprinting. Urine samples from pregnant women were screened by desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization (DAPPI) Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). The urine samples were processed by solid phase extraction for the DESI measurements and by enzymatic hydrolysis and liquid–liquid-extraction for DAPPI. Consequently, steroid glucuronides and sulfates were detected by negative ion mode DESI–HRMS, and free steroids by positive ion mode DAPPI–HRMS. In DESI, signals of eleven steroid metabolite ions were found to increase as the pregnancy proceeded, and in DAPPI ten steroid ions showed at least an order of magnitude increase during pregnancy. In DESI, the increase was seen for ions corresponding to C18 and C21 steroid glucuronides, while DAPPI detected increased excretion of C19 and C21 steroids. Thus both techniques show promise for the steroid marker screening in pregnancy.
Keywords: Desorption electrospray ionization; Desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization; Mass spectrometry; Pregnancy; Steroid; Metabolism;

Display OmittedMolecular-level chemical information about organic matter (OM) in sediments helps to establish the sources of OM and the prevalent degradation/diagenetic processes, both essential for understanding the cycling of carbon (C) and of the elements associated with OM (toxic trace metals and nutrients) in lake ecosystems. Ideally, analytical methods for characterizing OM should allow high sample throughput, consume small amounts of sample and yield relevant chemical information, which are essential for multidisciplinary, high-temporal resolution and/or large spatial scale investigations. We have developed a high-throughput analytical method based on pyrolysis–gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and automated data processing to characterize sedimentary OM in sediments. Our method consumes 200 μg of freeze-dried and ground sediment sample. Pyrolysis was performed at 450 °C, which was found to avoid degradation of specific biomarkers (e.g., lignin compounds, fresh carbohydrates/cellulose) compared to 650 °C, which is in the range of temperatures commonly applied for environmental samples. The optimization was conducted using the top ten sediment samples of an annually resolved sediment record (containing 16–18% and 1.3–1.9% of total carbon and nitrogen, respectively). Several hundred pyrolytic compound peaks were detected of which over 200 were identified, which represent different classes of organic compounds (i.e., n-alkanes, n-alkenes, 2-ketones, carboxylic acids, carbohydrates, proteins, other N compounds, (methoxy)phenols, (poly)aromatics, chlorophyll and steroids/hopanoids). Technical reproducibility measured as relative standard deviation of the identified peaks in triplicate analyses was 5.5 ± 4.3%, with 90% of the RSD values within 10% and 98% within 15%. Finally, a multivariate calibration model was calculated between the pyrolytic degradation compounds and the sediment depth (i.e., sediment age), which is a function of degradation processes and changes in OM source type. This allowed validation of the Py–GC/MS dataset against fundamental processes involved in OM cycling in aquatic ecosystems.
Keywords: Organic matter; Sediment; Pyrolysis; Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry; Chemometric analyses; Sub-mg sample mass;

Display OmittedA simple and sensitive multi-residue method for the determination of 115 veterinary drugs and pharmaceuticals, belonging in more than 20 different classes, in butter, milk powder, egg and fish tissue has been developed. The method involves a simple generic solid–liquid extraction step (solvent extraction, SE) with 0.1% formic acid in aqueous solution of EDTA 0.1% (w/v)–acetonitrile (ACN)–methanol (MeOH) (1:1:1, v/v) with additional ultrasonic-assisted extraction. Precipitation of lipids and proteins was promoted by subjecting the extracts at very low temperature (−23 °C) for 12 h. Further cleanup with hexane ensures fat removal from the matrix. Analysis was performed by liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Two separate runs were performed for positive and negative ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode (MRM). Particular attention was devoted to extraction optimization: different sample-to-extracting volume ratios, different concentrations of formic acid in the extraction solvent and different ultrasonic extraction temperatures were tested in butter, egg and milk powder samples. The method was also applied in fish tissue samples. It was validated, on the basis of international guidelines, for all four matrices. Quantitative analysis was performed by means of standard addition calibration. For over 80% of the analytes, the recoveries were between 50% and 120% in all matrices studied, with RSD values in the range of 1–18%. Limits of detection (LODs) and quantification (LOQs) ranged from 0.008 μg kg−1 (oxfendazole in butter) to 3.15 μg kg−1 (hydrochlorthiazide in egg). The evaluated method provides reliable screening, quantification, and identification of 115 veterinary drug and pharmaceutical residues in foods of animal origin and has been successfully applied in real samples.
Keywords: Veterinary drugs; Pharmaceuticals; Multi-residue method; Various matrices; Extraction optimization; Validation;

Display OmittedA fiber-optic probe system was developed to estimate the optical properties of turbid media based on spatially resolved diffuse reflectance. Because of the limitations in numerical calculation of radiative transfer equation (RTE), diffusion approximation (DA) and Monte Carlo simulations (MC), support vector regression (SVR) was introduced to model the relationship between diffuse reflectance values and optical properties. The SVR models of four collection fibers were trained by phantoms in calibration set with a wide range of optical properties which represented products of different applications, then the optical properties of phantoms in prediction set were predicted after an optimal searching on SVR models. The results indicated that the SVR model was capable of describing the relationship with little deviation in forward validation. The correlation coefficient (R) of reduced scattering coefficient μ s ′ and absorption coefficient μa in the prediction set were 0.9907 and 0.9980, respectively. The root mean square errors of prediction (RMSEP) of μ s ′ and μa in inverse validation were 0.411 cm−1 and 0.338 cm−1, respectively. The results indicated that the integrated fiber-optic probe system combined with SVR model were suitable for fast and accurate estimation of optical properties of turbid media based on spatially resolved diffuse reflectance.
Keywords: Optical properties; Fiber-optic probe system; Support vector regression; Turbid media; Diffuse reflectance;

Display OmittedA unique photoluminescence carbon dots (CDs) with larger size were prepared by microwave-assisted method. Complex functional groups on the surface of the CDs facilitate the nanoparticles to form affinity with some metal ions. Taking advantage of the effective fluorescence quenching effect of K+, a highly sensitive CD-based fluorescence analytical system for label-free detection of K+ with limit of detection (LOD) 1.0 × 10−12  M was established. The concentrations of potassium ion in biological samples such as human serum are usually found at millimolar levels or even higher. The proposed method begins with a substantial dilution of the sample to place the K+ concentration in the dynamic range for quantification, which covers 3 orders of magnitude. This offers some advantages: the detection of K+ only needs very small quantities of biological samples, and the dilution of samples such as serum may effectively eliminate the potential interferences that often originate from the background matrix. The determined potassium levels were satisfactory and closely comparable with the results given by the hospital, indicating that this fluorescent probe is applicable to detection of physiological potassium level with high accuracy. Compared with other relative biosensors requiring modified design, bio-molecular modification or/and sophisticated instruments, this CD-based sensor is very simple, cost-effective and easy detection, suggesting great potential applications for successively monitoring physiological potassium level and the change in biological system.
Keywords: Carbon dots; Potassium ion; Label free; Human serum; Human red blood cells;

Reversible phospholipid nanogels for deoxyribonucleic acid fragment size determinations up to 1500 base pairs and integrated sample stacking by Brandon C. Durney; Beth A. Bachert; Hillary S. Sloane; Slawomir Lukomski; James P. Landers; Lisa A. Holland (136-144).
Display OmittedPhospholipid additives are a cost-effective medium to separate deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragments and possess a thermally-responsive viscosity. This provides a mechanism to easily create and replace a highly viscous nanogel in a narrow bore capillary with only a 10 °C change in temperature. Preparations composed of dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) and 1,2-dihexanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DHPC) self-assemble, forming structures such as nanodisks and wormlike micelles. Factors that influence the morphology of a particular DMPC–DHPC preparation include the concentration of lipid in solution, the temperature, and the ratio of DMPC and DHPC. It has previously been established that an aqueous solution containing 10% phospholipid with a ratio of [DMPC]/[DHPC] = 2.5 separates DNA fragments with nearly single base resolution for DNA fragments up to 500 base pairs in length, but beyond this size the resolution decreases dramatically. A new DMPC–DHPC medium is developed to effectively separate and size DNA fragments up to 1500 base pairs by decreasing the total lipid concentration to 2.5%. A 2.5% phospholipid nanogel generates a resolution of 1% of the DNA fragment size up to 1500 base pairs. This increase in the upper size limit is accomplished using commercially available phospholipids at an even lower material cost than is achieved with the 10% preparation. The separation additive is used to evaluate size markers ranging between 200 and 1500 base pairs in order to distinguish invasive strains of Streptococcus pyogenes and Aspergillus species by harnessing differences in gene sequences of collagen-like proteins in these organisms. For the first time, a reversible stacking gel is integrated in a capillary sieving separation by utilizing the thermally-responsive viscosity of these self-assembled phospholipid preparations. A discontinuous matrix is created that is composed of a cartridge of highly viscous phospholipid assimilated into a separation matrix of low viscosity. DNA sample stacking is facilitated with longer injection times without sacrificing separation efficiency.
Keywords: Dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine; Dihexanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine; Capillary gel electrophoresis; Wormlike micelle; Aspergillus; Streptococcus;

An easy-to-use excimer fluorescence derivatization reagent, 2-chloro-4-methoxy-6-(4-(pyren-4-yl)butoxy)-1,3,5-triazine, for use in the highly sensitive and selective liquid chromatography analysis of histamine in Japanese soy sauces by Tatsuki Nakano; Kenichiro Todoroki; Yasuhiro Ishii; Chiemi Miyauchi; Arpaporn Palee; Jun Zhe Min; Koichi Inoue; Kuniaki Suzuki; Toshimasa Toyo’oka (145-151).
Display OmittedIn this study, a novel pre-column excimer fluorescence derivatization reagent, 2-chloro-4-methoxy-6-(4-(pyren-4-yl)butoxy)-1,3,5-triazine (CMPT), was developed for polyamines, specifically histamine. By CMPT derivatization, the polyamines, histamine and tyramine were converted to polypyrene derivatives, and emitted intra-molecular excimer fluorescence at 475 nm. This could clearly be distinguished from the normal fluorescence emitted from reagent blanks at 375 nm. Unlike conventional excimer fluorescence derivatization reagents, CMPT is chemically stable and its reactivity sustained over at least 36 days even in solution state. We successfully applied this reagent to the sensitive and selective analysis of histamine in different kinds of Japanese commercial soy sauces. The detection and quantification limits of histamine were 15 and 50 μg L−1, respectively, equating to 1.35 pmol and 4.5 pmol for a 6 μL injection. This sensitivity helped the direct analysis of soy sauce samples only treated by one-step liquid–liquid extraction without concentration. The histamine levels of commercial soy sauce samples (koikuchi, usukuchi and saishikomi) investigated were 1.24–768.5 mg L−1.
Keywords: Histamine; Tyramine; Liquid chromatography; Excimer fluorescence derivatization; Soy sauce;