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Monitoring Thrombin Generation and Screening Anticoagulants through Pulse Laser-Induced Fragmentation of Biofunctional Nanogold on Cellulose Membranes

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journal contribution
posted on 10.09.2014, 00:00 authored by Yu-Jia Li, Wei-Jane Chiu, Binesh Unnikrishnan, Chih-Ching Huang
Thrombin generation (TG) has an important part in the blood coagulation system, and monitoring TG is useful for diagnosing various health issues related to hypo-coagulability and hyper-coagulability. In this study, we constructed probes by using mixed cellulose ester membranes (MCEMs) modified with gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) for monitoring thrombin activity using laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI–MS). The LDI process produced Au cationic clusters ([Aun]+; n = 1–3) that we detected through MS. When thrombin reacted with fibrinogen on the Au NPs–MCEMs, insoluble fibrin was formed, hindering the formation of Au cationic clusters and, thereby, decreasing the intensity of their signals in the mass spectrum. Accordingly, we incorporated fibrinogen onto the Au NPs–MCEMs to form Fib–Au NPs–MCEM probes to monitor TG with good selectivity (>1000-fold toward thrombin with respect to other proteins or enzymes) and sensitivity (limit of detection for thrombin of ca. 2.5 pM in human plasma samples). Our probe exhibited remarkable performance in monitoring the inhibition of thrombin activity by direct thrombin inhibitors. Analyses of real samples using our new membrane-based probe suggested that it will be highly useful in practical applications for the effective management of hemostatic complications.