Microchimica Acta

, 186:68 | Cite as

Phytic acid functionalized Fe3O4 nanoparticles loaded with Ti(IV) ions for phosphopeptide enrichment in mass spectrometric analysis

  • Kaina Zhang
  • Dehua Hu
  • Suimin Deng
  • Meng Han
  • Xiangfeng Wang
  • Hailing Liu
  • Yuan Liu
  • Mengxia XieEmail author
Original Paper


A novel magnetic nanomaterial for use in metal ion based affinity chromatography is described. It is based on the chelation between the phosphate groups of phytic acid (PA) and Ti(IV) ions. Due to the large number (6) of phosphate groups of PA, it has a large capacity for Ti(IV) ions. PA was first immobilized on magnetite nanoparticles (PA-MNPs) and then loaded with Ti(IV) ions to obtain the sorbent (Ti-PA-MNPs). The fraction of Ti(IV) ions on the surface of PA-MNPs that is exposed to the solution binds the phosphate groups of phosphopeptides. The bound phosphopeptides can then be magnetically separated. The method was applied to the enrichment of the phosphopeptides in a β-casein tryptic digest. A tryptic digest of bovine serum albumin (BSA) was added at a molar ratio (β-casein to BSA) of 1:2000 to study selectivity. The phosphopeptides were quantified by mass spectrometry. The limit of detection can be as low as 8 × 10−10 mol L−1. This sorbent has a high absorption capacity (53.5 μg mg-1) and shows good recoveries (90%). As many as 2145 phosphopeptides were isolated from 500 μg tryptic digest of a rat liver lysate after enrichment by Ti-PA-MNPs. This is superior to that (1568 phosphopeptides) of commercial TiO2 kit.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of fabrication for a novel modified magnetic nanomaterial (Ti-PA-MNPs) based on the chelation of phytic acid (PA) with Ti(IV) ions. Ti-PA-MNPs were successfully applied to enriching low abundance phosphopeptides from biosamples in mass spectrometric analysis.


Phosphopeptide enrichment Phytic acid Ti(IV) ion Chelation Magnetic nanoparticles Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography 


Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3177_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaina Zhang
    • 1
  • Dehua Hu
    • 1
  • Suimin Deng
    • 1
  • Meng Han
    • 2
  • Xiangfeng Wang
    • 1
  • Hailing Liu
    • 1
  • Yuan Liu
    • 1
  • Mengxia Xie
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Analytical & Testing Center of Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.MOE Keyed Laboratory of Bioinformatics, School of Life SciencesTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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