Automated Enrichment of Sulfanilamide in Milk Matrices by Utilization of Aptamer-Linked Magnetic Particles

The present work demonstrates the first automated enrichment approach for antibiotics in milk using specific DNA aptamers. First, aptamers toward the antibiotic sulfanilamide were selected and characterized regarding their dissociation constants and specificity toward relevant antibiotics via fluorescence assay and LC-MS/MS detection. The performed enrichment was automated using the KingFisherDuo and compared to a manual approach. Verifying the functionality, trapping was realized in different milk matrices: (i) 0.3% fat milk, (ii) 1.5% fat milk, (iii) 3.5% fat milk, and (iv) 0.3% fat cocoa milk drink. Enrichment factors up to 8-fold could be achieved. Furthermore, it could be shown that novel implementation of a magnetic separator increases the reproducibility and reduces the hands-on time from approximately half a day to 30 min.