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Anal Chem. 2013 Feb 5;85(3):1905-12. doi: 10.1021/ac303274w. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Sub 2-μm macroporous silica particles derivatized for enhanced lectin affinity enrichment of glycoproteins.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, United States.


A new, mechanically stable silica microparticle with macrosized internal pores (1.6 μm particles with 100 nm pores) has been developed for chromatography. The particles are characterized by an extensive network of interconnected macropores with a high intraparticle void volume, as observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). They are synthesized by an aerosol assembly technique called ultrasonic spray pyrolysis (USP). The particles have a high surface area for a macroporous material, ∼200 m(2)/g, making them suitable for large biomolecular separations. To demonstrate their potential for bioseparations, they have been functionalized with lectins for affinity enrichment of glycoproteins. The material was derivatized with two lectins, Concanavalin A (Con A) and Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL), and binding properties were tested with standard glycoproteins. The columns exhibited excellent binding capacities for microaffinity enrichment: Con A was able to bind 75 μg of a standard glycoprotein in a 50 × 1 mm column. Following initial tests, the lectin microcolumns were utilized for enrichment of glycoproteins from 1 μL volumes of blood serum samples, performed in triplicate for each lectin. The enriched serum fractions were subjected to side-by-side glycomic and glycoproteomic profiling analyses with mass spectrometry to show that the new particles offer excellent sensitivity for microscale analyses of precious biological sample materials. The unique combination of the macroporous architecture and small particle diameter suggests the material may have advantages for conventional modes of chromatographic separation of macromolecules in an ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) format.

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