Surface engineering on mesoporous silica chips for enriching low molecular weight phosphorylated proteins

Ye Hu, Yang Peng, Kevin Lin, Haifa Shen, Louis C. Brousseau, Jason Sakamoto, Tong Sun, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Phosphorylated peptides and proteins play an important role in normal cellular activities, e.g., gene expression, mitosis, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, technical hurdles hinder the use of common fractionation methods to capture phosphopeptides from complex biological fluids such as human sera. Herein, we present the development of a dual strategy material that offers enhanced capture of low molecular weight phosphoproteins: mesoporous silica thin films with precisely engineered pore sizes that sterically select for molecular size combined with chemically selective surface modifications (i.e. Ga3+, Ti4+ and Zr4+) that target phosphoroproteins. These materials provide high reproducibility (CV = 18%) and increase the stability of the captured proteins by excluding degrading enzymes, such as trypsin. The chemical and physical properties of the composite mesoporous thin films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and ellipsometry. Using mass spectroscopy and biostatistics analysis, the enrichment efficiency of different metal ions immobilized on mesoporous silica chips was investigated. The novel technology reported provides a platform capable of efficiently profiling the serum proteome for biomarker discovery, forensic sampling, and routine diagnostic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-428
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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