The Analyst

A new strategy for surface modification of polysulfone membrane by in situ imprinted sol-gel method for the selective separation and screening of L-Tyrosine as a lung cancer biomarker.

PMID 25664351


In this work, a novel method based on in situ molecularly imprinted sol-gel for the surface modification of a polysulfone membrane (PSM) was developed. A modified molecularly imprinted sol-gel polysulfone membrane (MSM) was placed in a homemade plastic tube and coupled on-line with LC/MS/MS for the selective extraction and screening of l-Tyrosine (Tyr) as a tentative lung cancer biomarker in human plasma samples. The existence of molecularly imprinted sol-gel layers on both sides of a PSM was examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To evaluate the role of precursor in the extraction performance, repeatability, and selectivity of developed method, three precursors, 3-(propylmethacrylate) trimethoxysilane (P1), 3-(triethoxysilyl)-propylamine (P2), tetraethyl orthosilicate (P3), individually and together were used for treatment of PSM. Our investigation showed that a single precursor's route is more repeatable, straightforward, precise, accurate, and selective for the extraction of Tyr in plasma samples. Moreover, to achieve the best conditions and extraction efficiency, the effect of influential parameters, including the conditioning, washing, and elution of solvents, sample flow rate, loading time, desorption time, loading sample volume, salt effect, pH, and adsorption capacity for the most efficiently prepared membranes were truly investigated. The non-molecularly imprinted sol-gel polysulfone membrane (NSM) was prepared as a blank via the same process but in the absence of the Tyr. The LOD (S/N = 3/1) was 0.1 nmol L(-1) and the LOQ (S/N = 10/1) was 0.34 nmol L(-1) for Tyr in the plasma samples. The linearity for the Tyr was in the range of 0.34-2000 nmol L(-1) in the plasma samples. The coefficients of determination values were ≥0.998 for all runs. The extraction recovery was between 80%-85% for Tyr in the plasma samples. In addition, MSM could be used for up to 50 extractions without a significant change in recovery percentage.