A simple technique for quantitative analysis of four urinary biomarkers, tryptophan (TRP), 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) of carcinoid tumors is developed using gold nanoparticles as the assisted matrix in surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SALDI-TOF MS). The optimal SALDI conditions for the efficient ionization of those biomarkers are systematically explored by the adjustments of the concentrations of gold nanoparticles and internal standards. The mass spectra with strong signals and minimal background noise are obtained using 1-naphthaleneacetamide (NAD) as the internal standard. The calibration curves of the biomarker concentrations are determined using SALDI-TOF MS and the high linearity is obtained in all samples. For future clinical testing, multiplexed detection of those biomarkers in the urine samples of healthy males is performed. The successful quantitative detections of TRP, 5-HTP, 5-HT and 5-HIAA indicate that our technique provided great potentials to be developed a simple and rapid platform for the tumor biomarker detections.
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