Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Chemical Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of Environmental and Biological Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, People's Republic of China. [Email] [Email]
Biomedical applications and biomarkers for early clinical diagnostics and the treatment of diseases demand efficient and selective enrichment platforms for glycoproteins. Thus, we herein report a facile and general approach for the preparation of boronic acid-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles for the selective enrichment of glycoproteins. More specifically, Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles were initially prepared via a solvothermal reaction, and core-shell-structured Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles were obtained according to a sol-gel process. Subsequently, the Fe3O4@SiO2 surfaces were modified using 4-formylphenylboronic acid to allow the formation of strong yet reversible covalent bonds between boronic acid (BA) and the cis-1,2-diol groups of glycoproteins. The morphology and structure of the Fe3O4, Fe3O4@SiO2, and Fe3O4@SiO2-BA nanoparticles were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry, thereby confirming their successful preparation. The obtained BA-modified Fe3O4@SiO2 magnetic nanoparticles were applied in the attempted enrichment of two glycoproteins (ovalbumin (OVA) and transferrin (TRF)) and two non-glycoproteins (bovine serum albumin (BSA) and cytochrome c (Cyt C)). The results confirmed a significant difference in affinity between glycoproteins and non-glycoproteins. In addition, the recognition capability of the Fe3O4@SiO2-BA nanoparticles was demonstrated by the selective enrichment of glycoproteins from a complex system containing both glycoproteins (i.e., TRF) and non-glycoproteins (i.e., Cyt C).