Optical detection of macromolecular heparin via selective coextraction into thin polymeric films.
Thin plasticized polymer films, poly(vinyl chloride) doped with a specific ion pairing quaternary ammonium compound, tridodecylmethylammonium chloride, and a lipophilic pH indicator, 3-hydroxy-4-(4-nitrophenylazo)phenyl octadeconate, are shown to exhibit significant and analytically useful optical response toward macromolecular heparin. The response mechanism is based on favorable extraction of heparin into the bulk organic film, owing to the specific ion-pairing complexation reaction between the quaternary ammonium species and the polyanion. A simultaneous coextraction of hydrogen ions results in protonation of the pH chromophore and hence a change in the optical absorbance of the polymeric film. When used in a limited volume/fixed exposure (10 min) detection mode, film absorbances change as a function of the initial heparin concentration in the range of 0.2-3.0 units/mL (1.2-18 micrograms/mL). The practical measurement response time is controlled by heparin diffusion through the stagnant diffusion layer adjacent to the surface of the film as well as within the bulk of the polymer film and is shown to increase with the molecular weight of the heparin species tested. No optical response to heparin is observed when a strong heparin complexing agent (e.g., protamine) is present in the test solution, suggesting that the polymer film can be used to conveniently monitor heparin-protamine (or other antagonist) titrations. The theory relating to the operation of the sensing film in either the equilibrium or the kinetic mode and the selectivity of the optimized film to heparin relative to small anions are presented.
Wang, E; Meyerhoff, ME; Yang, VC
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