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Anal Chem. 2012 Aug 7;84(15):6308-11. doi: 10.1021/ac301149k. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Quantifying ligand adsorption to nanoparticles using tandem differential mobility mass analysis.


Although electrospray-differential mobility analyzers (ES-DMA) have been previously employed to characterize ligand binding to nanoparticles, absolute quantification of surface coverage can be inaccurate at times because of ligand conformational effects. In this Letter, we report a quantitative technique by in-flight coupling of a particle mass analyzer (APM) with ES-DMA, thus enabling a direct quantitative analysis of mass independent of particle size, material, morphology and conformation. We demonstrate the utility of ES-DMA-APM by studying two model complex systems (gold nanoparticle-bovine serum albumin and polystyrene bead-antibody) as a function of concentration and pH. Our results obtained with ES-DMA-APM are in excellent agreement with prior work. We anticipate that this will enhance the capabilities of online quantitative characterization of ligand binding to nanoparticles.

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