Detection of protein oxidation products by fluorescence spectroscopy and chemometrics at Institut for Fødevarevidenskab - Københavns Universitet

MSc Project: Detection of protein oxidation products by fluorescence spectroscopy and chemometrics

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Studying the potential of fluorescence spectroscopy combined with chemometrics to identify and quantify several protein oxidation products in one measurement.

Description:

Protein oxidation occurs in a broad range of materials, including foods where it can lead to reduced solubility, inactivation of enzymes, changes in protein functionality and loss of nutritional quality. Current analytical methods studying protein oxidation modifications are laborious, requiring extensive sample preparation and advanced chromatographic methods. Fluorescence spectroscopy is an alternative option that can provide rapid and cheap measurements. However, this technique has some limitations that makes it difficult to use it directly without proper data analysis to ensure the correct identification and quantification of the analytes under study.

Previous work in our group has shown the potential of using fluorescence spectroscopy to acquire landscape measurements (fluorescence excitation-emission matrices; EEM) combined with advanced chemometrics to correctly identify and quantify several protein oxidation products in one measurement.

This project aims to improve this approach by using a different instrumental set up to minimize some of the detrimental effects observed in our previous study.

In the proposed project you will design and prepare a series of samples with known concentration of Tyr, Trp and several of their most important protein oxidation products. Fluorescence EEM landscapes of these samples will be acquired, and the data will be used to prepare calibration models for all the analytes. The chemometrics skills employed for this project can range from basic to quite advanced, depending on your own experience.

A reference quantification of the same analytes will be done by LC-MS/MS analysis and/or some additional experiments creating some highly oxidized protein to test whether the calibration models work in practice.

Contact person / supervisor:

Marta Bevilacqua (marta@food.ku.dk) and Marianne Nissen Lund (mnl@food.ku.dk)

Attention: When applying for this thesis, remember that there are specific regulations and requirements that needs to be met in order for you to include it as part of your education. For more information on criteria, please contact your local student advisor as outlined here Faculty student advisors (in Danish)

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