High sensitivity and selectivity in quantitative analysis of drugs in biological samples using 4-column multidimensional micro-UHPLC-MS enabling enhanced sample loading capacity.

Abstract

Sensitivity is often a critical parameter in quantitative bioanalyses in drug development. For liquid-chromatography-based methods, sensitivity can be improved by reducing the column diameter, but practical sensitivity gains are limited by the reduced sample loading capacity on small internal diameter (I.D.) columns. We developed a set-up that has overcome these limitations in sample loading capacity. The set-up uses 4 columns with gradually decreasing column diameters along the flow-path (2.1 → 1 → 0.5 → 0.15 mm). Samples are pre-concentrated on-line on a 2.1 mm I.D. trapping column and back flushed to a 1 mm I.D. UHPLC analytical column and separated. The peak(s) of interest are transferred using heartcutting to a second trapping column (0.5 mm I.D.), which is back-flushed to a 0.15 mm I.D. micro-UHPLC analytical column for orthogonal separation. The proof of concept of the set-up was demonstrated by the simultaneous analysis of midazolam and 1'-hydroxy midazolam in plasma by injection of 80 μL of protein precipitated plasma. The 4-column funnel set-up proved to be robust and resulted in a 10-50 times better sensitivity compared to a trap-elute approach and 250-500 fold better compared to direct micro-UHPLC analysis. A lower limit of quantification of 100 fg/mL in plasma was obtained for both probe compounds.

DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2017.07.067

Cite this paper

@article{Vries2017HighSA, title={High sensitivity and selectivity in quantitative analysis of drugs in biological samples using 4-column multidimensional micro-UHPLC-MS enabling enhanced sample loading capacity.}, author={Ronald P de Vries and Liesbeth Vereyken and Isabelle E. J. A. François and Lieve L A Dillen and Rob J. Vreeken and Filip Cuyckens}, journal={Analytica chimica acta}, year={2017}, volume={989}, pages={104-111} }