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1.  Quantum dots and prion proteins 
Prion  2013;7(5):349-358.
A diagnostics of infectious diseases can be done by the immunologic methods or by the amplification of nucleic acid specific to contagious agent using polymerase chain reaction. However, in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the infectious agent, prion protein (PrPSc), has the same sequence of nucleic acids as a naturally occurring protein. The other issue with the diagnosing based on the PrPSc detection is that the pathological form of prion protein is abundant only at late stages of the disease in a brain. Therefore, the diagnostics of prion protein caused diseases represent a sort of challenges as that hosts can incubate infectious prion proteins for many months or even years. Therefore, new in vivo assays for detection of prion proteins and for diagnosis of their relation to neurodegenerative diseases are summarized. Their applicability and future prospects in this field are discussed with particular aim at using quantum dots as fluorescent labels.
doi:10.4161/pri.26524
PMCID: PMC4134339  PMID: 24055838
imaging; label; neurodegenerative disease; prion protein; quantum dots
2.  Water-dispersible TiO2 nanoparticles via a biphasic solvothermal reaction method 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2013;8(1):503.
A biphasic solvothermal reaction method has been used for the synthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs). In this method, hydrolysis and nucleation occur at the interface of organic phase (titanium (IV) n-propoxide and stearic acid dissolved in toluene) and water phase (tert-butylamine dissolved in water) resulting in the nucleation of the stearic acid-capped TiO2 NPs. These NPs are hydrophilic due to hydrophobic stearic acid ligands and could be dispersed in toluene, but not in water. These stearic acid-capped TiO2 NPs were surface-modified with 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) in order to make them water soluble. The resultant TiO2 NPs were easily redispersed in water without any noticeable aggregation. The Rietveld profile fitting of X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the TiO2 NPs revealed highly crystalline anatase structure. The average crystallite size of TiO2 NPs was calculated to be 6.89 nm, which agrees with TEM results. These results have important implications for the use of TiO2 in biomedical, environmental, and industrial applications.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-503
PMCID: PMC4219175  PMID: 24289214
TiO2; X-ray diffraction; UV-vis absorption; Fluorescence spectra
3.  Behaviour of Zinc Complexes and Zinc Sulphide Nanoparticles Revealed by Using Screen Printed Electrodes and Spectrometry 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(11):14417-14437.
In this study, we focused on microfluidic electrochemical analysis of zinc complexes (Zn(phen)(his)Cl2, Zn(his)Cl2) and ZnS quantum dots (QDs) using printed electrodes. This method was chosen due to the simple (easy to use) instrumentation and variable setting of flows. Reduction signals of zinc under the strictly defined and controlled conditions (pH, temperature, flow rate, accumulation time and applied potential) were studied. We showed that the increasing concentration of the complexes (Zn(phen)(his)Cl2, Zn(his)Cl2) led to a decrease in the electrochemical signal and a significant shift of the potential to more positive values. The most likely explanation of this result is that zinc is strongly bound in the complex and its distribution on the electrode is very limited. Changing the pH from 3.5 to 5.5 resulted in a significant intensification of the Zn(II) reduction signal. The complexes were also characterized by UV/VIS spectrophotometry, chromatography, and ESI-QTOF mass spectrometry.
doi:10.3390/s131114417
PMCID: PMC3871106  PMID: 24233071
electrochemical analysis; differential pulse voltammetry; screen printed electrode; spectrometry; Zn(II)
4.  Development of a Magnetic Electrochemical Bar Code Array for Point Mutation Detection in the H5N1 Neuraminidase Gene 
Viruses  2013;5(7):1719-1739.
Since its first official detection in the Guangdong province of China in 1996, the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of H5N1 subtype (HPAI H5N1) has reportedly been the cause of outbreaks in birds in more than 60 countries, 24 of which were European. The main issue is still to develop effective antiviral drugs. In this case, single point mutation in the neuraminidase gene, which causes resistance to antiviral drug and is, therefore, subjected to many studies including ours, was observed. In this study, we developed magnetic electrochemical bar code array for detection of single point mutations (mismatches in up to four nucleotides) in H5N1 neuraminidase gene. Paramagnetic particles Dynabeads® with covalently bound oligo (dT)25 were used as a tool for isolation of complementary H5N1 chains (H5N1 Zhejin, China and Aichi). For detection of H5N1 chains, oligonucleotide chains of lengths of 12 (+5 adenine) or 28 (+5 adenine) bp labeled with quantum dots (CdS, ZnS and/or PbS) were used. Individual probes hybridized to target molecules specifically with efficiency higher than 60%. The obtained signals identified mutations present in the sequence. Suggested experimental procedure allows obtaining further information from the redox signals of nucleic acids. Moreover, the used biosensor exhibits sequence specificity and low limits of detection of subnanogram quantities of target nucleic acids.
doi:10.3390/v5071719
PMCID: PMC3738958  PMID: 23860384
voltammetry; highly pathogenic influenza; antiviral resistance; paramagnetic particles; hybridization; quantum dots; automated separation; electrochemistry
5.  Voltammetry as a Tool for Characterization of CdTe Quantum Dots 
Electrochemical detection of quantum dots (QDs) has already been used in numerous applications. However, QDs have not been well characterized using voltammetry, with respect to their characterization and quantification. Therefore, the main aim was to characterize CdTe QDs using cyclic and differential pulse voltammetry. The obtained peaks were identified and the detection limit (3 S/N) was estimated down to 100 fg/mL. Based on the convincing results, a new method for how to study stability and quantify the dots was suggested. Thus, the approach was further utilized for the testing of QDs stability.
doi:10.3390/ijms140713497
PMCID: PMC3742199  PMID: 23807507
quantum dot; electrochemistry; differential pulse voltammetry; cyclic voltammetry; in vivo imaging
6.  Tissue Specific Electrochemical Fingerprinting 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49654.
Background
Proteomics and metalloproteomics are rapidly developing interdisciplinary fields providing enormous amounts of data to be classified, evaluated and interpreted. Approaches offered by bioinformatics and also by biostatistical data analysis and treatment are therefore of extreme interest. Numerous methods are now available as commercial or open source tools for data processing and modelling ready to support the analysis of various datasets. The analysis of scientific data remains a big challenge, because each new task sets its specific requirements and constraints that call for the design of a targeted data pre-processing approach.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This study proposes a mathematical approach for evaluating and classifying datasets obtained by electrochemical analysis of metallothionein in rat 9 tissues (brain, heart, kidney, eye, spleen, gonad, blood, liver and femoral muscle). Tissue extracts were heated and then analysed using the differential pulse voltammetry Brdicka reaction. The voltammograms were subsequently processed. Classification models were designed making separate use of two groups of attributes, namely attributes describing local extremes, and derived attributes resulting from the level = 5 wavelet transform.
Conclusions/Significance
On the basis of our results, we were able to construct a decision tree that makes it possible to distinguish among electrochemical analysis data resulting from measurements of all the considered tissues. In other words, we found a way to classify an unknown rat tissue based on electrochemical analysis of the metallothionein in this tissue.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049654
PMCID: PMC3501457  PMID: 23185396
7.  Redox status expressed as GSH:GSSG ratio as a marker for oxidative stress in paediatric tumour patients 
Oncology Letters  2012;4(6):1247-1253.
Oxidative stress causes profound alterations of various biological structures, including cellular membranes, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, and it is involved in numerous malignancies. Reduced glutathione (GSH) is considered to be one of the most important scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and its ratio with oxidised glutathione (GSSG) may be used as a marker of oxidative stress. The main aim of this study was to determine GSH:GSSG ratio in the blood serum of paediatric cancer patients to use this ratio as a potential marker of oxidative stress. The whole procedure was optimised and the recoveries for both substances were greater than 80% under the optimised conditions. We analysed a group of paediatric patients (n=116) with various types of cancer, including neuroblastoma, anaplastic ependymoma, germ cell tumour, genital tract tumour, lymphadenopathy, rhabdomyosarcoma, nephroblastoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, medulloblastoma and retinoblastoma. We simultaneously determined the levels of reduced and oxidised glutathione, and thus, its ratio in the blood serum of the patients. The highest ratio was observed in retinoblastoma patients and the lowest in anaplastic ependymoma. We were able to distinguish between the diagnoses based on the results of the obtained GSH:GSSG ratio.
doi:10.3892/ol.2012.931
PMCID: PMC3506742  PMID: 23205122
glutathione; paediatric tumour patients; oxidative stress; high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection
8.  Self-ordered TiO2 quantum dot array prepared via anodic oxidation 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):123.
The template-based methods belong to low-cost and rapid preparation techniques for various nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanodots or even quantum dots [QDs]. The nanostructured surfaces with QDs are very promising in the application as a sensor array, also called 'fluorescence array detector.' In particular, this new sensing approach is suitable for the detection of various biomolecules (DNA, proteins) in vitro (in clinical diagnostics) as well as for in vivo imaging.
The paper deals with the fabrication of TiO2 planar nanostructures (QDs) by the process of titanium anodic oxidation through an alumina nanoporous template on a silicon substrate. Scanning electron microscopy observation showed that the average diameter of TiO2 QDs is less than 10 nm. Raman spectroscopic characterization of self-organized titania QDs confirmed the presence of an anatase phase after annealing at 400°C in vacuum. Such heat-treated TiO2 QDs revealed a broad emission peak in the visible range (characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy).
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-123
PMCID: PMC3305443  PMID: 22333295
quantum dots; biosensing; TiO2; template methods; nanoporous mask
9.  Modern Micro and Nanoparticle-Based Imaging Techniques 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2012;12(11):14792-14820.
The requirements for early diagnostics as well as effective treatment of insidious diseases such as cancer constantly increase the pressure on development of efficient and reliable methods for targeted drug/gene delivery as well as imaging of the treatment success/failure. One of the most recent approaches covering both the drug delivery as well as the imaging aspects is benefitting from the unique properties of nanomaterials. Therefore a new field called nanomedicine is attracting continuously growing attention. Nanoparticles, including fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots) and magnetic nanoparticles, have proven their excellent properties for in vivo imaging techniques in a number of modalities such as magnetic resonance and fluorescence imaging, respectively. In this article, we review the main properties and applications of nanoparticles in various in vitro imaging techniques, including microscopy and/or laser breakdown spectroscopy and in vivo methods such as magnetic resonance imaging and/or fluorescence-based imaging. Moreover the advantages of the drug delivery performed by nanocarriers such as iron oxides, gold, biodegradable polymers, dendrimers, lipid based carriers such as liposomes or micelles are also highlighted.
doi:10.3390/s121114792
PMCID: PMC3522940  PMID: 23202187
imaging techniques; nanoparticles; fluorescence; magnetic resonance imaging
10.  Carbon composite micro- and nano-tubes-based electrodes for detection of nucleic acids 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):385.
The first aim of this study was to fabricate vertically aligned multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). MWCNTs were successfully prepared by using plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition. Further, three carbon composite electrodes with different content of carbon particles with various shapes and sizes were prepared and tested on measuring of nucleic acids. The dependences of adenine peak height on the concentration of nucleic acid sample were measured. Carbon composite electrode prepared from a mixture of glassy and spherical carbon powder and MWCNTs had the highest sensitivity to nucleic acids. Other interesting result is the fact that we were able to distinguish signals for all bases using this electrode.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-385
PMCID: PMC3211478  PMID: 21711910
11.  Bio-Sensing of Cadmium(II) Ions Using Staphylococcus aureus† 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2011;11(11):10638-10663.
Cadmium, as a hazardous pollutant commonly present in the living environment, represents an important risk to human health due to its undesirable effects (oxidative stress, changes in activities of many enzymes, interactions with biomolecules including DNA and RNA) and consequent potential risk, making its detection very important. New and unique technological and biotechnological approaches for solving this problems are intensely sought. In this study, we used the commonly occurring potential pathogenic microorganism Staphylococcus aureus for the determination of markers which could be used for sensing of cadmium(II) ions. We were focused on monitoring the effects of different cadmium(II) ion concentrations (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 μg mL−1) on the growth and energetic metabolism of Staphylococcus aureus. Highly significant changes have been detected in the metabolism of thiol compounds—specifically the protein metallothionein (0.79–26.82 mmol/mg of protein), the enzyme glutathione S-transferase (190–5,827 μmol/min/mg of protein), and sulfhydryl groups (9.6–274.3 μmol cysteine/mg of protein). The ratio of reduced and oxidized glutathione indicated marked oxidative stress. In addition, dramatic changes in urease activity, which is connected with resistance of bacteria, were determined. Further, the effects of cadmium(II) ions on the metabolic pathways of arginine, β-glucosidase, phosphatase, N-acetyl β-d-glucosamine, sucrose, trehalose, mannitol, maltose, lactose, fructose and total proteins were demonstrated. A metabolomic profile of Staphylococcus aureus under cadmium(II) ion treatment conditions was completed seeking data about the possibility of cadmium(II) ion accumulation in cells. The results demonstrate potential in the application of microorganisms as modern biosensor systems based on biological components.
doi:10.3390/s111110638
PMCID: PMC3274306  PMID: 22346664
biosensor; cadmium; Staphylococcus aureus; metabolic activity; metabolome; microbiome; electrochemistry; voltammetry; Brdicka reaction; spectrophotometry; high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection
12.  Electrochemical Microsensors for the Detection of Cadmium(II) and Lead(II) Ions in Plants 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(6):5308-5328.
Routine determination of trace metals in complex media is still a difficult task for many analytical instruments. The aim of this work was to compare three electro-chemical instruments [a standard potentiostat (Autolab), a commercially available miniaturized potentiostat (PalmSens) and a homemade micropotentiostat] for easy-to-use and sensitive determination of cadmium(II) and lead(II) ions. The lowest detection limits (hundreds of pM) for both metals was achieved by using of the standard potentiostat, followed by the miniaturized potentiostat (tens of nM) and the homemade instrument (hundreds of nM). Nevertheless, all potentiostats were sensitive enough to evaluate contamination of the environment, because the environmental limits for both metals are higher than detection limits of the instruments. Further, we tested all used potentiostats and working electrodes on analysis of environmental samples (rainwater, flour and plant extract) with artificially added cadmium(II) and lead(II). Based on the similar results obtained for all potentiostats we choose a homemade instrument with a carbon tip working electrode for our subsequent environmental experiments, in which we analyzed maize and sunflower seedlings and rainwater obtained from various sites in the Czech Republic.
doi:10.3390/s100605308
PMCID: PMC3247708  PMID: 22219663
heavy metals; lead; cadmium; miniaturization; screen printed electrode; amperometry; voltammetry; plant; maize; sunflower; water
13.  Quantum Dots — Characterization, Preparation and Usage in Biological Systems 
The use of fluorescent nanoparticles as probes for bioanalytical applications is a highly promising technique because fluorescence-based techniques are very sensitive. Quantum dots (QDs) seem to show the greatest promise as labels for tagging and imaging in biological systems owing to their impressive photostability, which allow long-term observations of biomolecules. The usage of QDs in practical applications has started only recently, therefore, the research on QDs is extremely important in order to provide safe and effective biosensing materials for medicine. This review reports on the recent methods for the preparation of quantum dots, their physical and chemical properties, surface modification as well as on some interesting examples of their experimental use.
doi:10.3390/ijms10020656
PMCID: PMC2660652  PMID: 19333427
Quantum dots; biosensing; biolabeling; template methods; TiO2
14.  Silver(I) Ions Ultrasensitive Detection at Carbon Electrodes—Analysis of Waters, Tobacco Cells and Fish Tissues 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(9):6934-6950.
We used carbon paste electrodes and a standard potentiostat to detect silver ions. The detection limit (3 Signal/Noise ratio) was estimated as 0.5 μM. A standard electrochemical instrument microanalysis of silver(I) ions was suggested. As a working electrode a carbon tip (1 mL) or carbon pencil was used. Limits of detection estimated by dilution of a standard were 1 (carbon tip) or 10 nM (carbon pencil). Further we employed flow injection analysis coupled with carbon tip to detect silver(I) ions released in various beverages and mineral waters. During first, second and third week the amount of silver(I) ions releasing into water samples was under the detection limit of the technique used for their quantification. At the end of a thirteen weeks long experiment the content of silver(I) ions was several times higher compared to the beginning of release detected in the third week and was on the order of tens of nanomoles. In subsequent experiments the influence of silver(I) ions (0, 5 and 10 μM) on a plant model system (tobacco BY-2 cells) during a four-day exposition was investigated. Silver(I) ions were highly toxic to the cells, which was revealed by a double staining viability assay. Moreover we investigated the effect of silver(I) ions (0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2 and 2.5 μM) on guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Content of Ag(I) increased with increasing time of the treatment and applied concentrations in fish tissues. It can be concluded that a carbon tip or carbon pencil coupled with a miniaturized potentiostat can be used for detection of silver(I) ions in environmental samples and thus represents a small, portable, low cost and easy-to-use instrument for such purposes.
doi:10.3390/s90906934
PMCID: PMC3290483  PMID: 22399980
silver; guppy (Poecilia reticulata); tobacco cells; ecotoxicology; voltammetry; miniaturized carbon electrodes
15.  Study of Interactions between Metallothionein and Cisplatin by using Differential Pulse Voltammetry Brdickás reaction and Quartz Crystal Microbalance 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(3):1355-1369.
Treatment strategies for tumour diseases are progressively focusing on personalization of medicine. However, this focus requires methods revealing the early general biological mechanisms, including the formation anti-cancer drugs’ resistance. The low molecular mass protein metallothionein is thought to be the crucial for the formation of resistance in tumour treatment based on the platinum-cytostatics. The interactions between metallothionein (MT) and cisplatin were determined by the adsorptive transfer stripping technique coupled with the differential pulse votlammetry Brdickás reaction. The signals related to the MT-cisplatin complex appeared at −0.9 V. The formation of this complex depended on the time of interaction between cisplatin and MT. The complex formation was consequently confirmed by quartz crystal microbalance analyses. The formation of this complex was detectable even after a 20 s long interaction. Moreover, we detected presence of MT-cisplatin complex in the blood of male rats treated with this drug.
doi:10.3390/s90301355
PMCID: PMC3345864  PMID: 22573958
Cancer; Metallothionein; Cisplatin; Protein-Drug Interaction; Voltammetry; Brdickás reaction; Quartz Crystal Microbalance; 
16.  Preparation and Properties of Various Magnetic Nanoparticles 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(4):2352-2362.
The fabrications of iron oxides nanoparticles using co-precipitation and gadolinium nanoparticles using water in oil microemulsion method are reported in this paper. Results of detailed phase analysis by XRD and Mössbauer spectroscopy are discussed. XRD analysis revealed that the crystallite size (mean coherence length) of iron oxides (mainly γ-Fe2O3) in the Fe2O3 sample was 30 nm, while in Fe2O3/SiO2 where the ε-Fe2O3 phase dominated it was only 14 nm. Gd/SiO2 nanoparticles were found to be completely amorphous, according to XRD. The samples showed various shapes of hysteresis loops and different coercivities. Differences in the saturation magnetization (MS) correspond to the chemical and phase composition of the sample materials. However, we observed that MS was not reached in the case of Fe2O3/SiO2, while for Gd/SiO2 sample the MS value was extremely low. Therefore we conclude that only unmodified Fe2O3 nanoparticles are suitable for intended biosensing application in vitro (e.g. detection of viral nucleic acids) and the phase purification of this sample for this purpose is not necessary.
doi:10.3390/s90402352
PMCID: PMC3348843  PMID: 22574017
Magnetic nanoparticles; iron oxide; gadolinium nanoparticles; silica coating
17.  Amperometric Sensor for Detection of Chloride Ions† 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2008;8(9):5619-5636.
Chloride ion sensing is important in many fields such as clinical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and industrial applications. We have measured chloride ions at a carbon paste electrode (CPE) and at a CPE modified with solid AgNO3, a solution of AgNO3 and/or solid silver particles. Detection limits (3 S/N) for chloride ions were 100 μM, 100 μM and 10 μM for solid AgNO3, solution of AgNO3 and/or solid silver particles, respectively. The CPE modified with silver particles is the most sensitive to the presence chloride ions. After that we approached to the miniaturization of the whole electrochemical instrument. Measurements were carried out on miniaturized instrument consisting of a potentiostat with dimensions 35 × 166 × 125 mm, screen printed electrodes, a peristaltic pump and a PC with control software. Under the most suitable experimental conditions (Britton-Robinson buffer, pH 1.8 and working electrode potential 550 mV) we estimated the limit of detection (3 S/N) as 500 nM.
doi:10.3390/s8095619
PMCID: PMC3705522
Chloride Ions; Silver; Carbon Paste Electrode; Screen Printed Electrode; Voltammetry; Amperometry
18.  Multi-instrumental Analysis of Tissues of Sunflower Plants Treated with Silver(I) Ions – Plants as Bioindicators of Environmental Pollution 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2008;8(1):445-463.
The aim of this work is to investigate sunflower plants response on stress induced by silver(I) ions. The sunflower plants were exposed to silver(I) ions (0, 0.1, 0.5, and 1 mM) for 96 h. Primarily we aimed our attention to observation of basic physiological parameters. We found that the treated plants embodied growth depression, coloured changes and lack root hairs. Using of autofluorescence of anatomical structures, such as lignified cell walls, it was possible to determine the changes of important shoot and root structures, mainly vascular bungles and development of secondary thickening. The differences in vascular bundles organisation, parenchymatic pith development in the root centre and the reduction of phloem part of vascular bundles were well observable. Moreover with increasing silver(I) ions concentration the vitality of rhizodermal cells declined; rhizodermal cells early necrosed and were replaced by the cells of exodermis. Further we employed laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for determination of spatial distribution of silver(I) ions in tissues of the treated plants. The Ag is accumulated mainly in near-root part of the sample. Moreover basic biochemical indicators of environmental stress were investigated. The total content of proteins expressively decreased with increasing silver(I) ions dose and the time of the treatment. As we compare the results obtained by protein analysis – the total protein contents in shoot as well as root parts – we can assume on the transport of the proteins from the roots to shoots. This phenomenon can be related with the cascade of processes connecting with photosynthesis. The second biochemical parameter, which we investigated, was urease activity. If we compared the activity in treated plants with control, we found out that presence of silver(I) ions markedly enhanced the activity of urease at all applied doses of this toxic metal. Finally we studied the effect of silver(I) ions on activity of urease in in vitro conditions.
PMCID: PMC3681137
Silver; Heavy metals; Plant biosensor; Sensors; Biochemical marker
19.  Lactoferrin Isolation Using Monolithic Column Coupled with Spectrometric or Micro-Amperometric Detector 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2008;8(1):464-487.
Lactoferrin is a multifunctional protein with antimicrobial activity and others to health beneficial properties. The main aim of this work was to propose easy to use technique for lactoferrin isolation from cow colostrum samples. Primarily we utilized sodium dodecyl sulphate – polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for isolation of lactoferrin from the real samples. Moreover we tested automated microfluidic Experion electrophoresis system to isolate lactoferrin from the collostrum sample. The well developed signal of lactoferrin was determined with detection limit (3 S/N) of 20 ng/ml. In spite of the fact that Experion is faster than SDS-PAGE both separation techniques cannot be used in routine analysis. Therefore we have tested third separation technique, ion exchange chromatography, using monolithic column coupled with UV-VIS detector (LC-UV-VIS). We optimized wave length (280 nm), ionic strength of the elution solution (1.5 M NaCl) and flow rate of the retention and elution solutions (0.25 ml/min and 0.75 ml/min. respectively). Under the optimal conditions the detection limit was estimated as 0.1 μg/ml of lactoferrin measured. Using LC-UV-VIS we determined that lactoferrin concentration varied from 0.5 g/l to 1.1 g/l in cow colostrums collected in the certain time interval up to 72 hours after birth. Further we focused on miniaturization of detection device. We tested amperometric detection at carbon electrode. The results encouraged us to attempt to miniaturise whole detection system and to test it on analysis of real samples of human faeces, because lactoferrin level in faeces is closely associated with the inflammations of intestine mucous membrane. For the purpose of miniaturization we employed the technology of printed electrodes. The detection limit of lactoferrin was estimated as 10 μg/ml measured by the screen-printed electrodes fabricated by us. The fabricated electrodes were compared with commercially available ones. It follows from the obtained results that the responses measured by commercial electrodes are app. ten times higher compared with those measured by the electrodes fabricated by us. This phenomenon relates with smaller working electrode surface area of the electrodes fabricated by us (about 50 %) compared to the commercial ones. The screen-printed electrodes fabricated by us were utilized for determination of lactoferrin faeces. Regarding to fact that sample of faeces was obtained from young and healthy man the amount of lactoferrin in sample was under the limit of detection of this method.
PMCID: PMC3681142
Lactoferrin; Milk Protein; Linear Sweep Voltammetry; Screen-Printed Carbon Electrode; Electrochemistry; Liquid Chromatography; Monolithic Column; UV-VIS Spectrometry
20.  Utilizing of Square Wave Voltammetry to Detect Flavonoids in the Presence of Human Urine 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2007;7(10):2402-2418.
About biological affecting of flavonoids on animal organisms is known less, thus we selected flavonoids, flavanones and flavones, and their glycosides, which were examined as potential inducers of cytochrome(s) P450 when administrated by gavages into experimental male rats. The study was focused on induction of CYP1A1, the major cytochrome P450 involved in carcinogen activation. The data obtained demonstrate the necessity of taking into account not only ability of flavonoids to bind to Ah receptor (induction factor) but also to concentrate on their distribution and metabolism (including colon microflora) in the body. After that we examined certain flavonoids as potential inducers of cytochrome P450, we wanted to suggest and optimize suitable electrochemical technique for determination of selected flavonoids (quercetin, quercitrin, rutin, chrysin and diosmin) in body liquids. For these purposes, we selected square wave voltannetry using carbon paste electrode. Primarily we aimed on investigation of their basic electrochemical behaviour. After that we have optimized frequency, step potential and supporting electrolyte. Based on the results obtained, we selected the most suitable conditions for determination of the flavonoids as follows: frequency 180 Hz, step potential 1.95 mV/s and phosphate buffer of pH 7 as supporting electrolyte. Detection limits (3 S/N) of the flavonoids were from units to tens of nM except diosmin, where the limit were higher than μM. In addition, we attempted to suggest a sensor for analysis of flavonoids in urine. It clearly follows from the results obtained that flavonoids can be analysed in the presence of animal urine, because urine did not influence much the signals of flavonoids (recoveries of the signals were about 90 %).
PMCID: PMC3864529
flavonoids; antioxidant; carbon paste electrode; square wave voltammetry; western blot analysis; cytochrome P450; cancer
21.  Shapes of Differential Pulse Voltammograms and Level of Metallothionein at Different Animal Species 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2007;7(10):2419-2429.
Metallothioneins play a key role in maintaining homeostasis of essential metals and in protecting of cells against metal toxicity as well as oxidative damaging. Excepting humans, blood levels of metallothionein have not yet been reported from any animal species. Blood plasma samples of 9 animal species were analysed by the adsorptive transfer stripping technique to obtain species specific voltammograms. Quite distinct records were obtained from the Takin (Budorcas taxicolor), while other interesting records were observed in samples from the European Bison (Bison bonasus bonasus) and the Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). To quantify metallothionein the catalytic peak Cat2 was used, well developed in the Domestic Fowl (Gallus gallus f. domestica) and showing a very low signal in the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). The highest levels of metallothionein reaching over 20 µM were found in the Domestic Fowl. High levels of MT were also found in the Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) and the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus lupus). The lowest values of about 1-3 µM were determined in the Red-eared Slider, Takin and Red Deer. Employing a simple electrochemical detection it was possible to examine variation in blood metallothionein in different species of vertebrates.
PMCID: PMC3864530
Electrochemical detection; Catalytic signal; Brdicka reaction; Heavy metals; Red-eared Slider; Bearded Dragon; Domestic Fowl; Grey Wolf; Bactrian Camel; Reindeer; Takin; European Bison; Red Deer
22.  Spectrometric and Voltammetric Analysis of Urease – Nickel Nanoelectrode as an Electrochemical Sensor 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2007;7(7):1238-1255.
Urease is the enzyme catalyzing the hydrolysis of urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia. This enzyme is substrate-specific, which means that the enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea only. This feature is a basic diagnostic criterion used in the determination of many bacteria species. Most of the methods utilized for detection of urease are based on analysis of its enzyme activity – the hydrolysis of urea. The aim of this work was to detect urease indirectly by spectrometric method and directly by voltammetric methods. As spectrometric method we used is called indophenol assay. The sensitivity of detection itself is not sufficient to analyse the samples without pre-concentration steps. Therefore we utilized adsorptive transfer stripping technique coupled with differential pulse voltammetry to detect urease. The influence of accumulation time, pH of supporting electrolyte and concentration of urease on the enzyme peak height was investigated. Under the optimized experimental conditions (0.2 M acetate buffer pH 4.6 and accumulation time of 120 s) the detection limit of urease evaluated as 3 S/N was 200 ng/ml. The activity of urease enzyme depends on the presence of nickel. Thus the influence of nickel(II) ions on electrochemical response of the enzyme was studied. Based on the results obtained the interaction of nickel(II) ions and urease can be determined using electrochemical methods. Therefore we prepared Ni nanoelectrodes to measure urease. The Ni nanoelectrodes was analysed after the template dissolution by scanning electron microscopy. The results shown vertically aligned Ni nanopillars almost covered the electrode surface, whereas the defect places are minor and insignificant in comparison with total electrode surface. We were able to not only detect urease itself but also to distinguish its native and denatured form.
PMCID: PMC3923183
urease; electrochemical methods; nanotechnology; nanotube; nickel electrode; hanging mercury drop electrode; spectrometry
23.  An Investigation of Glutathione-Platinum(II) Interactions by Means of the Flow Injection Analysis Using Glassy Carbon Electrode 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2007;7(7):1256-1270.
Despite very intensive research in the synthesising of new cytostatics, cisplatin is still one of the most commonly used anticancer drugs. Therefore, an investigation of interactions of cisplatin with different biologically important amino acids, peptides and proteins is very topical. In the present paper, we utilized flow injection analysis coupled with electrochemical detection to study and characterize the behaviour of various forms of glutathione (reduced glutathione – GSH, oxidized glutathione – GSSG and S-nitroso glutathione – GSNO). The optimized conditions were as follows: mobile phase consisted of acetate buffer (pH 3) with a flow rate of 1 mL min-1. Based on results obtained we chose 850 mV as the optimal potential for detection of GSH and 1,100 mV as the optimal potential for detection of GSSG and GSNO. The detection limits of GSH, GSSG and GSNO were 100 pg mL-1, 50 ng mL-1 and 300 pg mL-1, respectively. Further, the optimized technique was used for investigation of interactions between cisplatin and GSH. We were able to observe the interaction between GSH and cisplatin via decrease in the signal corresponding to glutathione. Moreover, we evaluated the formation of the complex by spectrometry. The spectrometric results obtained were in good agreement with electrochemical ones.
PMCID: PMC3923185
Glutathione; Carbon paste electrode; Thiols; Cisplatin; Cancer; Flow injection analysis with electrochemical detection
24.  Flow Injection Analysis Coupled with Carbon Electrodes as the Tool for Analysis of Naphthoquinones with Respect to Their Content and Functions in Biological Samples 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2006;6(11):1466-1482.
Naphthoquinones are one of the groups of secondary metabolites widespread in nature, where they mostly appear as chromatic pigments. They embody broad-range of biological actions from phytotoxic to fungicidal. An anticancer effect of naphthoquinones stimulates an interest in determination and characterization of single derivatives of 1,2- and 1,4-quinones in biological samples. The main aim of this work was to suggest a technique suitable to determine lawsone, juglone and/or plumbagin in biological samples and to study of their influence on BY-2 tobacco cells. The BY-2 tobacco cells were cultivated in the presence of the naphthoquinones of interest (500 μg.l-1) for 24 h and then the morphological changes were observed. We found out that naphthoquinones triggered the programmed cell death at BY-2 cells, which can be confirmed by the apoptotic bodies in nucleus. After that we suggested and optimized different electrochemical techniques such differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) coupled with hanging mercury drop (HMDE) and carbon paste electrode, micro flow device coupled with carbon screen printed electrodes and flow injection analysis coupled with Coulochem III detector to determine them. The detection limits of naphthoquinones of interest were expressed as 3S/N and varied from units to hundreds of ng per millilitres according to methods used. Moreover, we utilized DPV coupled with HMDE and micro flow device to determine content of juglone in leaves Persian walnut (Juglans regia). We determined that the leaves contained juglone tenths of g per 100 g of fresh weight. The results obtained show the convincing possibilities of using of these methods in analysis of plant secondary metabolites.
PMCID: PMC3909409
Naphthoquinones; Plumbagin; Lawsone; Juglone; BY-2 tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabaccum); Persian walnut (Juglans regia); Sensors; Flow analysis; Differential pulse voltammetry; Electrochemical detection; Carbon electrodes
25.  New Hydrodynamic Electrochemical Arrangement for Cadmium Ions Detection Using Thick-Film Chemical Sensor Electrodes 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2006;6(11):1498-1512.
Miniaturization and integration of chemical devices into modules that are dimensionally comparable with electronic chips (Lab on Chip) is nowadays developing worldwide. The aim of our work was to suggest and optimize the best conditions for fabrication of TFT sensor due to its sensitivity and low experimental deviations. New electrochemical analytical device was developed to ensure certain known mass transport to electrodes, which is the most limiting process that influencing the response quality of the sensor. The device consists from rotating conic vessel for measured sample and stick-in thick-film sensor. The sensors responses were tested under trace analysis of cadmium. Measurements were done also with the others electrochemical arrangements to compare with the new one. The sensor output current response dependence on the liquid velocity and geometrical arrangement within using standard electrochemical couple of potassium ferrocyanide-ferricyanide is presented. We found out that the new device with controlled flow of electrolyte to sensor worked properly and gave satisfactory results.
PMCID: PMC3909411
flow analysis; differential pulse voltammetry; cadmium; thick-film sensor

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