Influence of natural, electrically neutral lipids on the potentiometric responses of cation-selective polymeric membrane electrodes

P. Bühlmann, M. Hayakawa, T. Ohshiro, S. Amemiya, Y. Umezawa

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Ionophore-free ion exchanger electrodes were found to exhibit quite a high selectivity for the creatininium ion; however, measurements in diluted urine samples revealed large emf drifts. Potentiometric, chromatographic, NMR, and mass spectrometric evidence did not reveal any major cationic interfering agents, and anionic interfering agents cannot trivially explain the consistently positive emf drifts. Ultrafiltration of urine samples showed that the interfering agents have molecular weights below 1000 u. The drifts are apparently caused by electrically neutral lipophilic compounds of low molecular weight that are easily extracted into organic phases. Follow-up experiments showed that p-cresol and cholesterol cause no significant emf responses but that coproporphyrin, phosphatidylserine, taurocholic acid, cholic acid, phosphatidylethanolamine, and octanoic acid cause positive emf drifts of the type that was observed with the urine samples. The extent of the responses and the response time depend not only on the specific compound but also on the cation in the sample solution. These results suggest that the emf drifts are due to extraction of such natural lipids into the organic membrane phase where they interact in an ionophore-like fashion with the analyte and interfering ions. Changes in the potentiometric selectivities after contact with natural lipids support this interpretation. The same effect of natural lipids is also expected for ionophore-based electrodes. Indeed, exposure of a valinomycin-based electrode to a methylene chloride extract of urine resulted in a significant reduction of the Na+ discrimination, increasing log KK,Napot from -3.9 to -3.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3199-3205
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2001


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