Nano-structured support materials, their characterisation and serum protein profiling through MALDI/TOF-MS
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In the bioanalytical era, novel nano-materials for the selective extraction, pre-concentration and purification of biomolecules prior to analysis are vital. Their application as affinity binding in this regard is needed to be authentic. We report here the comparative application of derivatised materials and surfaces on the basis of nano-crystalline diamond, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes for the analysis of marker peptides and proteins by material enhanced laser desorption ionisation mass spectrometry MELDI-MS. In this particular work, the emphasis is placed on the derivatization, termed as immobilised metal affinity chromatography (IMAC), with three different support materials, to show the effectiveness of MELDI technique. For the physicochemical characterisation of the phases, near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) is used, which is a well-established method within the analytical chemistry, covering a wide range of applications. NIRS enables differentiation between silica materials and different fullerenes derivatives, in a 3-dimensional factor-plot, depending on their derivatizations and physical characteristics. The method offers a physicochemical quantitative description in the nano-scale level of particle size, specific surface area, pore diameter, pore porosity, pore volume and total porosity with high linearity and improved precision. The measurement takes only a few seconds while high sample throughput is guaranteed.
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