A new thin layer chromatographic layer using gold nanoparticles grafted 3-triethoxysilyl propylamine modified silica gel (Au NPs-APTS modified silica gel) was developed as a stationary phase for separation and determination of two steroid hormones, namely progesterone and testosterone. Acetone-n-hexane 25:75 (v/v) was used as the mobile phase, and the results were compared with those obtained using plain (i.e., unmodified) silica gel plates. Some chromatographic parameters used for separation of the two steroids on an Au NPs-APTS modified silica gel plate as well as on a plain silica gel plate, including ΔRF, separation factor (α), and resolution (RS), were evaluated and compared. The reproducibility of RF values was also determined by analysis of the two steroids in 7 consecutive days on both plates. Validity of the method was investigated, and a wide linear range of 1-200 ng per spot, and low detection limits of 0.16 ng and 0.13 ng per spot, low quantification limits of 0.51 ng and 0.40 ng per spot, and good precision (expressed as percent relative standard deviation) lower than 3.1% and 2.7% were obtained for progesterone and testosterone, respectively. As the results revealed, the proposed method is rapid and sensitive, and it is applicable to separation and determination of progesterone and testosterone in biological matrices such as urine samples. © 2014, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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