Reinjection flow field-flow fractionation method for nanoparticle quantitative analysis in unknown and complex samples.

Affiliation

Wang Y(1), Yang C(2), Nie Y(3), Li Y(4), Tian X(5).
Author information:
(1)Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430078, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430078, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430078, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430078, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(5)Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, 430078, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

An analytical challenge that arises in environmental and food analysis is to quantify heterogeneous nanoparticles especially in polydisperse and complex samples. The method stated herein based on the reinjection asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AF4 × AF4) coupled with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) and statistical deconvolution allowed for identifying the molecular weight (Mw) and selenium abundance of the low Mw protein fractions (ca. < 132 kDa) in an unknown and complex sample (e.g., selenium-rich soybean protein isolates (Se-SPI)). A non-linear decay crossflow program was also developed to get better resolution and shorter elution time for both low and high Mw components. The concept of the reinjection method was based on the excellent ability for reducing sample complexity regarding the size fractionation, and peak reproducibility under the identical conditions of AF4 system. The standard protein mixture was used as a proof-of-principle sample. The results showed the underlying peaks predicted by the reinjection method were agreed with the separation result using the standard mixture (the relative standard deviation of peak locations < 1%), which indicated the reinjection method could provide an accurate assessment of the underlying peak number and location, and was promising to minimize the overfitting problem for statistic deconvolution. Interestingly, significant differences of Se abundance in protein fractions were observed in the low Mw range for Se-SPI, ranging from 0.28 to 1.66 cps/V with the Mw ranging from 13.75 kDa to 104.17 kDa, which indicated significant differences in the ability of binding Se for these selenium-rich proteins in Se-SPI.