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Anal Chem. 2004 Feb 15;76(4):1114-22.

Quantitative X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry characterization of the components in DNA.

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National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems, Departments of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, Box 351750, Seattle, WA 98195-1750, USA.


The great diversity of techniques to synthesize and use DNA microarrays has made them extremely flexible for a variety of applications. This flexibility also has made standardization difficult, leading to problems comparing data from these different systems. In this work, we use the surface science techniques of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) to analyze the components of DNA. The atomic ratios of the components of nucleobases, nucleosides, and nucleotides were characterized by XPS. The chemical shifts in the high-resolution XPS spectra allow for their relatively easy resolution. The unique positive and negative ions from the nucleobases, nucleosides, and nucleotides in their TOF-SIMS spectra were identified. This information was used to build a comprehensive table of all of the molecular ions. These standard spectra of DNA components can be used to predict the relative amounts of the bases within more complex molecules either by univariate analysis (i.e., by relating the base molecular ions to the sugar fragment ions within the nucleotides) or by multivariate analysis (e.g., principal component analysis). Our preliminary examination of four oligonucleotides shows promising results in that we can distinguish between two oligomers of similar composition using univariate and multivariate analysis, although additional studies are needed to expand this method to more complex oligomers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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