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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 905701, 7 pages
Research Article

Solid-Phase Extraction of Pesticides by Using Bioinspired Peptide Receptors

1Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food, Agriculture and Environment, University of Teramo, 64023 Teramo, Italy
2Istituto Zooprofilattico dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”, 64100 Teramo, Italy

Received 25 November 2014; Revised 27 April 2015; Accepted 29 April 2015

Academic Editor: Clara Cilindre

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Lanzone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A virtual development of hexapeptide receptors bioinspired by the acetylcholinesterase enzyme active site is proposed. A semicombinatorial approach was applied to generate a virtual hexapeptides library with different affinity properties towards organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. The virtual screening process was addressed to obtain peptides able to separate pesticide subclasses in the experimental work. Three hexapeptides, two generated by molecular modeling and one having a scrambled sequence, were used as selective sorbent materials for pesticides in preanalytical solid-phase extraction (SPE) method. Selective adsorption and cross-reactivity were tested directly on a mix of four pesticides (carbaryl, chlorpyrifos-ethyl, malathion, and thiabendazole) having different structures and physico-chemical properties, at a total concentration of 120 ppb (each pesticide at concentration of 30 ppb). The results were compared to traditional sorbent material such as C-18 and strata-X. Data showed that only one of the hexapeptides virtually designed had significant differences in competitive absorption between aliphatic pesticide malathion, fungicide thiabendazole chosen as negative control, and aromatic pesticides. These results partially supported the simulated strategy.