Boronate affinity mesoporous silica nanoparticle based selective enrichment for highly efficient analysis of ginsenosides†
Panax ginseng has been one of the most famous traditional herbs in eastern Asia as well as North America for thousands of years. Ginsenosides are considered to be the main bioactive constituent with diverse pharmacological functions. Thus, selective analysis of ginsenosides is of great importance for both the medical perspective and quality control of Panax ginseng. However, the conventional RPLC is not suitable for the analysis of ginsenosides because of the strong polarity of the glycosyl chain. Herein, by employing boronate affinity mesoporous silica nanoparticles (BA-MSNs) as a selective sorbent, we have developed a boronate affinity chromatography based strategy for the analysis of ginsenosides. As compared to the standard analytical approach (Chinese Pharmacopoeia 2015), the proposed method did not require tedious sample pretreatment, but provided a significantly improved performance, including excellent selectivity, high binding capacity and fast binding equilibrium. Using ginsenosides Re, Rb1 and Rb2 as representative targets, efficient qualitative and quantitative analyses of ginseng were performed, suggesting a promising outlook for the proposed method in real-world applications.