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Langmuir. 2010 Sep 21;26(18):14663-70. doi: 10.1021/la102590f.

Adsorption of beta-adrenergic agonists used in sport doping on metal nanoparticles: a detection study based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

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  • 1Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, CSIC, Serrano, 121, 28006-Madrid, Spain.


The adsorption of beta(2)-adrenergic agonist (βAA) drugs clenbuterol, salbutamol, and terbutaline on metal surfaces has been investigated in this work by means of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). To assist in this investigation, a previous vibrational (IR and normal Raman) characterization of these drugs was performed, supported by ab initio density functional theory calculations. The application of SERS was aimed to apply this highly sensitive technique, based on localized surface plasmon resonance, in the detection of βAA at trace concentrations and as a possible alternative method which can be postulated in routine antidoping analysis. The adsorption of these drugs was studied in depth at different experimental conditions: on Au and Ag, at different pHs, and with varying adsorbate concentration. Moreover, plasmon resonance spectroscopy was employed to investigate the adsorption of these drugs on the metal nanoparticles as well as their aggregation. It was found that the adsorption of these molecules is more effective on gold nanoparticles and at acidic pH, based on the direct interaction of the aromatic or aliphatic moieties through ionic or coordination bonds with the metal. These drugs followed a Langmuir adsorption model from which the adsorption constant and the limit of detection can be determined.

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