Carbon dots as nanoantennas for anti-inflammatory drug analysis using surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry in serum†
Carbon dots (C-dots)-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CALDI-TOF MS) is a relatively new approach for the detection of analytes. We have attempted to harness the UV absorption capacity of C-dots (especially at 337 nm) as a matrix for the detection of a widespread use anti-inflammatory drug Mefenamic acid (MFA). Due to the surface modification, excellent water solubility and ultra-small size, C-dots can play an important role in the detection of low molecular weight compounds. In comparison with 2,5-dihydroxy benzoic acid (DHB), C-dots were found to be an outstanding matrix to avoid background signals and fragmentation of the MFA signals. The C-dots are a perfect matrix for the detection of MFA in both positive and negative ion modes from serum with a low detection limit of 0.51 ng and 0.46 ng, respectively.