Evaluation of ionic liquids supported on silica as a sorbent for fully automated on-line Solid-Phase Extraction with LC–MS determination of sulfonamides in bovine milk samples

Sulfonamides are antibiotics widely used in the treatment of diseases in dairy cattle. However, their indiscriminate use for disease control may lead to their presence in tissues and milk and their determination requires a sample preparation step as part of an analytical approach. Among the several sample preparation techniques available, those based upon the use of sorptive materials have been widely employed. Recently, the application of ionic liquids immobilized on silica surfaces or polymeric materials has been evaluated for such an application. This manuscript addresses the evaluation of silica based ionic liquid obtained by a sol–gel synthesis process by basic catalysis as sorbent for on-line solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for sulfonamides determination. Infrared vibrational spectroscopy confirmed the presence of the ionic liquid on the silica surface, suggesting that the ionic liquid was anchored on to the silica surface. Other sorbents varying the ionic liquid alkyl chain were also synthesized and evaluated by off-line solid-phase extraction in the sulfonamide extraction. As the length of the alkyl chain increased, the amount of extracted sulfonamides decreased, possibility due to a decrease in the electrostatic interaction caused by the reduction in the polarity, as well as the presence of a hexafluorophosphate anion that increases the hydrophobic character of the material. The use of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate as a selective ionic liquid sorbent enabled the isolation and sulfonamide pre-concentration in bovine milk by on-line solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The limit of quantification for the method developed was 5–7, 5 μg/mL < ? > < ? > Author: please check values < ? > < ? > , with extraction recoveries ranging between 74 and 93% and intra- and inter-assay, between 1.5–12.5 and 2.3–13.1, respectively.
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Abstract

Sulfonamides are antibiotics widely used in the treatment of diseases in dairy cattle. However, their indiscriminate use for disease control may lead to their presence in tissues and milk and their determination requires a sample preparation step as part of an analytical approach. Among the several sample preparation techniques available, those based upon the use of sorptive materials have been widely employed. Recently, the application of ionic liquids immobilized on silica surfaces or polymeric materials has been evaluated for such an application. This manuscript addresses the evaluation of silica based ionic liquid obtained by a sol–gel synthesis process by basic catalysis as sorbent for on-line solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for sulfonamides determination. Infrared vibrational spectroscopy confirmed the presence of the ionic liquid on the silica surface, suggesting that the ionic liquid was anchored on to the silica surface. Other sorbents varying the ionic liquid alkyl chain were also synthesized and evaluated by off-line solid-phase extraction in the sulfonamide extraction. As the length of the alkyl chain increased, the amount of extracted sulfonamides decreased, possibility due to a decrease in the electrostatic interaction caused by the reduction in the polarity, as well as the presence of a hexafluorophosphate anion that increases the hydrophobic character of the material. The use of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate as a selective ionic liquid sorbent enabled the isolation and sulfonamide pre-concentration in bovine milk by on-line solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The limit of quantification for the method developed was 5–7, 5 μg/mL < ? > < ? > Author: please check values < ? > < ? > , with extraction recoveries ranging between 74 and 93% and intra- and inter-assay, between 1.5–12.5 and 2.3–13.1, respectively.

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Ultra-fast liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization time-of- flight mass spectrometry for the rapid phenolic profiling of red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves

The red maple (Acer rubrum) species is economically important to North America because of its sap which is used to produce maple syrup. In addition, various other red maple plant parts, including leaves, were used as a traditional medicine by the Native Americans. Currently, red maple leaves are being used for nutraceutical and cosmetic applications but there are no published analytical methods for comprehensive phytochemical characterization of this material. Herein, a rapid and sensitive method using liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry was developed to characterize the phenolics in a methanol extract of red maple leaves and a proprietary phenolic-enriched red maple leaves extract (Maplifa™). Time-of-flight mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry experiments led to the identification of 106 phenolic compounds in red maples leaves with the vast majority of these compounds also detected in Maplifa™. The compounds included 68 gallotannins, 25 flavonoids, gallic acid, quinic acid, catechin, epicatechin, and 9 other gallic acid derivatives among which 11 are potentially new and 75 are being reported from red maple for the first time. The developed method to characterize red maple leaves phenolics is rapid and highly sensitive and could aid in future standardization and quality control of this botanical ingredient.
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Abstract

The red maple (Acer rubrum) species is economically important to North America because of its sap which is used to produce maple syrup. In addition, various other red maple plant parts, including leaves, were used as a traditional medicine by the Native Americans. Currently, red maple leaves are being used for nutraceutical and cosmetic applications but there are no published analytical methods for comprehensive phytochemical characterization of this material. Herein, a rapid and sensitive method using liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry was developed to characterize the phenolics in a methanol extract of red maple leaves and a proprietary phenolic-enriched red maple leaves extract (Maplifa™). Time-of-flight mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry experiments led to the identification of 106 phenolic compounds in red maples leaves with the vast majority of these compounds also detected in Maplifa™. The compounds included 68 gallotannins, 25 flavonoids, gallic acid, quinic acid, catechin, epicatechin, and 9 other gallic acid derivatives among which 11 are potentially new and 75 are being reported from red maple for the first time. The developed method to characterize red maple leaves phenolics is rapid and highly sensitive and could aid in future standardization and quality control of this botanical ingredient.

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Fiber-in-tube solid-phase microextraction of caffeine as a molecular tracer in wastewater by electrochemically deposited layered double hydroxide

Modified stainless-steel wires with a layer of polyaniline conductive polymer, were coated by electrochemical deposition with Zn/Al layered double hydroxide to make solid-phase microextraction fibers. The coating layer was also electrochemically deposited on the inner surface of a stainless-steel tube. Then, ten prepared fibers were put inside the inner-coated tube to make a fiber-in-tube solid phase microextraction device. The device was applied for the extraction of caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) from domestic wastewater samples. Extraction conditions including extraction and desorption times, pH and ionic strength of the sample solution, and content of the organic desorption solvent were investigated and optimized. Under the optimized conditions, the fiber-in-tube solid phase microextraction exhibited excellent extraction efficiency toward caffeine. The precision of the method was evaluated. Average relative standard deviation of 5.7% (n = 6) for intra-day analysis and 8.3% (n = 5) for inter-day analysis were obtained. The limits of detection and limits of quantification of the method (at signal to noise ratio of 3 and 10) were obtained as 0.14 and 0.37 ng/mL, respectively. The current study can provide new prospective applications of layered double hydroxide-conductive polymer fiber coatings.
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Abstract

Modified stainless-steel wires with a layer of polyaniline conductive polymer, were coated by electrochemical deposition with Zn/Al layered double hydroxide to make solid-phase microextraction fibers. The coating layer was also electrochemically deposited on the inner surface of a stainless-steel tube. Then, ten prepared fibers were put inside the inner-coated tube to make a fiber-in-tube solid phase microextraction device. The device was applied for the extraction of caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) from domestic wastewater samples. Extraction conditions including extraction and desorption times, pH and ionic strength of the sample solution, and content of the organic desorption solvent were investigated and optimized. Under the optimized conditions, the fiber-in-tube solid phase microextraction exhibited excellent extraction efficiency toward caffeine. The precision of the method was evaluated. Average relative standard deviation of 5.7% (n = 6) for intra-day analysis and 8.3% (n = 5) for inter-day analysis were obtained. The limits of detection and limits of quantification of the method (at signal to noise ratio of 3 and 10) were obtained as 0.14 and 0.37 ng/mL, respectively. The current study can provide new prospective applications of layered double hydroxide-conductive polymer fiber coatings.

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Preparative isolation and purification of hainanmurpanin, meranzin, and phebalosin from leaves of Murraya exotica L. using supercritical fluid extraction combined with consecutive high-speed countercurrent chromatography

The objective of this study was to develop a consecutive preparation method for the isolation and purification of hainanmurpanin, meranzin, and phebalosin from leaves of Murraya exotica L. The process involved supercritical fluid extraction with CO2, solvent extraction, and two-step high-speed countercurrent chromatography. Pressure, temperature, and the volume of entrainer were optimized as 27 MPa, 52°C, and 60 mL by response surface methodology in supercritical fluid extraction with CO2, and the yield of the crude extracts was 7.91 g from 100 g of leaves. Subsequently, 80% methanol/water was used to extract and condense the three compounds from the crude extracts, and 4.23 g of methanol/water extracts was obtained. Then, a two-step high-speed countercurrent chromatography procedure was developed for the isolation of the three target compounds from methanol/water extracts, including conventional high-speed countercurrent chromatography for further enrichment and consecutive high-speed countercurrent chromatography for purification. The yield of concentrates from high-speed countercurrent chromatography was 2.50 g from 4.23 g of methanol/water extracts. Finally, the consecutive high-speed countercurrent chromatography produced 103.2 mg of hainanmurpanin, 244.7 mg of meranzin, and 255.4 mg of phebalosin with purities up to 97.66, 99.36, and 98.64%, respectively, from 900 mg of high-speed countercurrent chromatography concentrates in one run of three consecutive sample loadings without exchanging a solvent system.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to develop a consecutive preparation method for the isolation and purification of hainanmurpanin, meranzin, and phebalosin from leaves of Murraya exotica L. The process involved supercritical fluid extraction with CO2, solvent extraction, and two-step high-speed countercurrent chromatography. Pressure, temperature, and the volume of entrainer were optimized as 27 MPa, 52°C, and 60 mL by response surface methodology in supercritical fluid extraction with CO2, and the yield of the crude extracts was 7.91 g from 100 g of leaves. Subsequently, 80% methanol/water was used to extract and condense the three compounds from the crude extracts, and 4.23 g of methanol/water extracts was obtained. Then, a two-step high-speed countercurrent chromatography procedure was developed for the isolation of the three target compounds from methanol/water extracts, including conventional high-speed countercurrent chromatography for further enrichment and consecutive high-speed countercurrent chromatography for purification. The yield of concentrates from high-speed countercurrent chromatography was 2.50 g from 4.23 g of methanol/water extracts. Finally, the consecutive high-speed countercurrent chromatography produced 103.2 mg of hainanmurpanin, 244.7 mg of meranzin, and 255.4 mg of phebalosin with purities up to 97.66, 99.36, and 98.64%, respectively, from 900 mg of high-speed countercurrent chromatography concentrates in one run of three consecutive sample loadings without exchanging a solvent system.

Magnetic core micelles as a nanosorbent for the efficient removal and recovery of three organophosphorus pesticides from fruit juice and environmental water samples

Sodium dodecyl sulfate coated amino-functionalized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were used as an efficient adsorbent for rapid removal and preconcentration of three important organophosphorus pesticides, chlorpyrifos, diazinon and phosalone, by ultrasound-assisted dispersive magnetic solid-phase microextraction. Fabrication of amino-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles was certified by characteristic analyses, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Affecting parameters on the removal efficiency were investigated and optimized through half-fractional factorial design and Doehlert design, respectively. The analysis of analytes was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. Under the optimum conditions, extraction recoveries for 20 ng/mL of organophosphorus pesticides were in the range of 84–97% with preconcentration factors in the range of 134–155. Replicating the experiment in above condition for five times gave the relative standard deviations <6%. The calibration curves showed high linearity in the range of 0.2–700 ng/mL and the limits of detection were in the range of 0.08–0.13 ng/mL. The proposed method was successfully applied for both removal and trace determination of these three organophosphorus pesticides in environmental water and fruit juice samples.

Abstract

Sodium dodecyl sulfate coated amino-functionalized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were used as an efficient adsorbent for rapid removal and preconcentration of three important organophosphorus pesticides, chlorpyrifos, diazinon and phosalone, by ultrasound-assisted dispersive magnetic solid-phase microextraction. Fabrication of amino-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles was certified by characteristic analyses, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Affecting parameters on the removal efficiency were investigated and optimized through half-fractional factorial design and Doehlert design, respectively. The analysis of analytes was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. Under the optimum conditions, extraction recoveries for 20 ng/mL of organophosphorus pesticides were in the range of 84–97% with preconcentration factors in the range of 134–155. Replicating the experiment in above condition for five times gave the relative standard deviations <6%. The calibration curves showed high linearity in the range of 0.2–700 ng/mL and the limits of detection were in the range of 0.08–0.13 ng/mL. The proposed method was successfully applied for both removal and trace determination of these three organophosphorus pesticides in environmental water and fruit juice samples.

Determination of ultraviolet filter compounds in environmental water samples using membrane-protected micro-solid-phase extraction

A method based on membrane-protected micro-solid-phase extraction coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of six UV filter compounds in various aqueous media. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes as the sorbent were encapsulated in a sealed polypropylene membrane packet and immersed in the sample to extract the analytes, and then dichloromethane was used for desorption purpose. The method was sensitive enough for quantitative analysis of the target analytes, with limits of quantification between 0.01 and 0.06 μg L−1, and produced a linear response (R2 > 0.991) over the calibration range (0.05–6 μg L−1). The obtained reproducibility was practically suitable with relative standard deviation values of less than 14% in pure water (spiked at 0.20 μg L−1) and less than 15% in real samples. The optimized method was applied for the analysis of real water samples with varying matrix complexity; tap, river and dam water, geothermal spa and sewage treatment plant effluent. Various levels and patterns of contamination were observed in the examined samples, while the sample from spa was the most contaminated, regarding the target analytes. Matrix spikes and matrix spike replicates were also analyzed to validate the technique for analysis of real aqueous samples, and satisfactory results were achieved.
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Abstract

A method based on membrane-protected micro-solid-phase extraction coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of six UV filter compounds in various aqueous media. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes as the sorbent were encapsulated in a sealed polypropylene membrane packet and immersed in the sample to extract the analytes, and then dichloromethane was used for desorption purpose. The method was sensitive enough for quantitative analysis of the target analytes, with limits of quantification between 0.01 and 0.06 μg L−1, and produced a linear response (R> 0.991) over the calibration range (0.05–6 μg L−1). The obtained reproducibility was practically suitable with relative standard deviation values of less than 14% in pure water (spiked at 0.20 μg L−1) and less than 15% in real samples. The optimized method was applied for the analysis of real water samples with varying matrix complexity; tap, river and dam water, geothermal spa and sewage treatment plant effluent. Various levels and patterns of contamination were observed in the examined samples, while the sample from spa was the most contaminated, regarding the target analytes. Matrix spikes and matrix spike replicates were also analyzed to validate the technique for analysis of real aqueous samples, and satisfactory results were achieved.

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A novel ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous determination of xanthones and steroidal saponins in crude and salt-processed Anemarrhenae Rhizoma aqueous extracts

We established a rapid and sensitive ultra high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous quantification of xanthones and steroidal saponins in rat plasma. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a C18 column with a mobile phase comprising acetonitrile and 0.1% formic acid. The detection was performed by negative electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode. The validated method showed good linearity within the tested range (r > 0.9945). The intra- and interday precision at high, medium, and low concentrations was less than 7.96%. The bias of accuracies ranged from −1.92 to 9.62%. The extraction recoveries of the compounds ranged from 84.78 to 88.69%, and the matrix effects ranged from 96.76 to 108.59%. This method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic comparison of crude and salt-processed Anemarrhenae Rhizoma aqueous extracts after oral administration in rats. The maximum plasma concentration and area under concentration–time curve of timosaponin BIII and timosaponin AIII increased significantly (P < 0.05 or 0.01) and those of timosaponin BII decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after processing. These results could contribute to the clinical application of crude and salt-processed Anemarrhenae Rhizoma and reveal the processing mechanism.

Abstract

We established a rapid and sensitive ultra high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous quantification of xanthones and steroidal saponins in rat plasma. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a C18 column with a mobile phase comprising acetonitrile and 0.1% formic acid. The detection was performed by negative electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode. The validated method showed good linearity within the tested range (r > 0.9945). The intra- and interday precision at high, medium, and low concentrations was less than 7.96%. The bias of accuracies ranged from −1.92 to 9.62%. The extraction recoveries of the compounds ranged from 84.78 to 88.69%, and the matrix effects ranged from 96.76 to 108.59%. This method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic comparison of crude and salt-processed Anemarrhenae Rhizoma aqueous extracts after oral administration in rats. The maximum plasma concentration and area under concentration–time curve of timosaponin BIII and timosaponin AIII increased significantly (P < 0.05 or 0.01) and those of timosaponin BII decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after processing. These results could contribute to the clinical application of crude and salt-processed Anemarrhenae Rhizoma and reveal the processing mechanism.

Method for the simultaneous determination of monoaromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in industrial effluents using dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction with GC–MS

We present a new method for simultaneous determination of 22 monoaromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in postoxidative effluents from the production of petroleum bitumen using dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction coupled to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The eight extraction parameters including the type and volume of extraction and disperser solvent, pH, salting out effect, extraction and centrifugation time were optimized. The low detection limit ranging from 0.36 to 28 μg/L, limit of quantitation (1.1–84 μg/L), good reproducibility and wide linear ranges, as well as the recoveries ranging from 71.74 to 114.67% revealed that the new method allows determination of aromatic hydrocarbons at low concentration levels in industrial effluents having a very complex composition. The developed method was applied to the determination of content of mono- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in samples of raw postoxidative effluents in which 15 compounds were identified at concentrations ranging from 1.21 to 1017.0 μg/L as well as in effluents after chemical treatment.
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Abstract

We present a new method for simultaneous determination of 22 monoaromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in postoxidative effluents from the production of petroleum bitumen using dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction coupled to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The eight extraction parameters including the type and volume of extraction and disperser solvent, pH, salting out effect, extraction and centrifugation time were optimized. The low detection limit ranging from 0.36 to 28 μg/L, limit of quantitation (1.1–84 μg/L), good reproducibility and wide linear ranges, as well as the recoveries ranging from 71.74 to 114.67% revealed that the new method allows determination of aromatic hydrocarbons at low concentration levels in industrial effluents having a very complex composition. The developed method was applied to the determination of content of mono- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in samples of raw postoxidative effluents in which 15 compounds were identified at concentrations ranging from 1.21 to 1017.0 μg/L as well as in effluents after chemical treatment.

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Efficient synthesis of molecularly imprinted polymers with bio-recognition sites for the selective separation of bovine hemoglobin

We developed a facile approach to the construction of bio-recognition sites in silica nanoparticles for efficient separation of bovine hemoglobin based on amino-functionalized silica nanoparticles grafting by 3-aminopropyltriethoxylsilane providing hydrogen bonds with bovine hemoglobin through surface molecularly imprinting technology. The resulting amino-functionalized silica surface molecularly imprinted polymers were characterized using scanning electron microscope, transmission electronic microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. Results showed that the as-synthesized imprinted polymers exhibited spherical morphology and favorable thermal stability. The binding adsorption experiments showed that the imprinted polymers can reach equilibrium within 1 h. The Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second-order kinetic model fitted the adsorption data well. Meanwhile, the maximum binding capacity was up to 90.3 mg/g and highly selectivity for the recognition of bovine hemoglobin. Moreover, such high binding capacity and selectivity retained after eight cycles, indicating the good stability and reusability of the imprinted polymers. Finally, successful application in the selective recognition of bovine hemoglobin from a real bovine blood sample indicated that the imprinted polymers displayed great potentials in efficient purification and separation of target proteins.
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Abstract

We developed a facile approach to the construction of bio-recognition sites in silica nanoparticles for efficient separation of bovine hemoglobin based on amino-functionalized silica nanoparticles grafting by 3-aminopropyltriethoxylsilane providing hydrogen bonds with bovine hemoglobin through surface molecularly imprinting technology. The resulting amino-functionalized silica surface molecularly imprinted polymers were characterized using scanning electron microscope, transmission electronic microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. Results showed that the as-synthesized imprinted polymers exhibited spherical morphology and favorable thermal stability. The binding adsorption experiments showed that the imprinted polymers can reach equilibrium within 1 h. The Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second-order kinetic model fitted the adsorption data well. Meanwhile, the maximum binding capacity was up to 90.3 mg/g and highly selectivity for the recognition of bovine hemoglobin. Moreover, such high binding capacity and selectivity retained after eight cycles, indicating the good stability and reusability of the imprinted polymers. Finally, successful application in the selective recognition of bovine hemoglobin from a real bovine blood sample indicated that the imprinted polymers displayed great potentials in efficient purification and separation of target proteins.

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Preparation of bio-based keratin-derived magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles for the facile and selective separation of bisphenol A from water

In this study, new bio-based magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles (∼23 nm) were synthesized from keratin extracted from chicken feathers and methacrylate-functionalized Fe3O4 nanoparticles for its potential application in separation and removal of bisphenol A from water. The prepared magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, alternative gradient field magnetometry, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The sorption of bisphenol A was investigated by changing the influencing factors such as pH, immersion time, Fe3O4 nanoparticles dosage, and the initial concentration of bisphenol A. Results illustrated that sorption was very fast and efficient (Qm = 600 mg/g) having a removal efficiency of ∼98% in 40 min of immersion. The adsorption process showed better conformity with the Weber−Morris kinetics and the Freundlich isotherm model. The selectivity of bisphenol A by adsorbent was checked in the presence of hydroquinone, phenol, tetrabromobisphenol, and 4,4′-biphenol as interferences.

Abstract

In this study, new bio-based magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles (∼23 nm) were synthesized from keratin extracted from chicken feathers and methacrylate-functionalized Fe3O4 nanoparticles for its potential application in separation and removal of bisphenol A from water. The prepared magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, alternative gradient field magnetometry, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The sorption of bisphenol A was investigated by changing the influencing factors such as pH, immersion time, Fe3O4 nanoparticles dosage, and the initial concentration of bisphenol A. Results illustrated that sorption was very fast and efficient (Q= 600 mg/g) having a removal efficiency of ∼98% in 40 min of immersion. The adsorption process showed better conformity with the Weber−Morris kinetics and the Freundlich isotherm model. The selectivity of bisphenol A by adsorbent was checked in the presence of hydroquinone, phenol, tetrabromobisphenol, and 4,4′-biphenol as interferences.

Analysis of new psychoactive substances in human urine by ultra-high performance supercritical fluid and liquid chromatography: Validation and comparison

New psychoactive substances represent serious social and health problem as tens of new compounds are detected in Europe annually. They often show structural proximity or even isomerism, which complicates their analysis. Two methods based on ultra high performance supercritical fluid chromatography and ultra high performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection were validated and compared. A simple dilute-filter-and-shoot protocol utilizing propan-2-ol or methanol for supercritical fluid or liquid chromatography, respectively, was proposed to detect and quantify 15 cathinones and phenethylamines in human urine. Both methods offered fast separation (<3 min) and short total analysis time. Precision was well <15% with a few exceptions in liquid chromatography. Limits of detection in urine ranged from 0.01 to 2.3 ng/mL, except for cathinone (5 ng/mL) in supercritical fluid chromatography. Nevertheless, this technique distinguished all analytes including four pairs of isomers, while liquid chromatography was unable to resolve fluoromethcathinone regioisomers. Concerning matrix effects and recoveries, supercritical fluid chromatography produced more uniform results for different compounds and at different concentration levels. This work demonstrates the performance and reliability of supercritical fluid chromatography and corroborates its applicability as an alternative tool for analysis of new psychoactive substances in biological matrixes.

Abstract

New psychoactive substances represent serious social and health problem as tens of new compounds are detected in Europe annually. They often show structural proximity or even isomerism, which complicates their analysis. Two methods based on ultra high performance supercritical fluid chromatography and ultra high performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection were validated and compared. A simple dilute-filter-and-shoot protocol utilizing propan-2-ol or methanol for supercritical fluid or liquid chromatography, respectively, was proposed to detect and quantify 15 cathinones and phenethylamines in human urine. Both methods offered fast separation (<3 min) and short total analysis time. Precision was well <15% with a few exceptions in liquid chromatography. Limits of detection in urine ranged from 0.01 to 2.3 ng/mL, except for cathinone (5 ng/mL) in supercritical fluid chromatography. Nevertheless, this technique distinguished all analytes including four pairs of isomers, while liquid chromatography was unable to resolve fluoromethcathinone regioisomers. Concerning matrix effects and recoveries, supercritical fluid chromatography produced more uniform results for different compounds and at different concentration levels. This work demonstrates the performance and reliability of supercritical fluid chromatography and corroborates its applicability as an alternative tool for analysis of new psychoactive substances in biological matrixes.

Amino acid racemization and its relation to geochronology and archaeometry

Amino acid racemization, used as a method of relative and quantitative dating of fossils, evaluates the degree of postmortem conversion of l to d amino acid enantiomers. While extensively utilized, this method has garnered confusion due to controversial age estimates for human fossils in North America in the 1970s. This paper explains the age controversy and aftermath, current chromatographic methods used in research, mathematical calibration models, and a short synopsis of other dating techniques in geochronology and archaeometry.
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Abstract

Amino acid racemization, used as a method of relative and quantitative dating of fossils, evaluates the degree of postmortem conversion of l to d amino acid enantiomers. While extensively utilized, this method has garnered confusion due to controversial age estimates for human fossils in North America in the 1970s. This paper explains the age controversy and aftermath, current chromatographic methods used in research, mathematical calibration models, and a short synopsis of other dating techniques in geochronology and archaeometry.

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Simple method for the determination of personal care product ingredients in lettuce by ultrasound-assisted extraction combined with solid-phase microextraction followed by GC–MS

A simple method for the simultaneous determination of personal care product ingredients: galaxolide, tonalide, oxybenzone, 4-methylbenzyliden camphor, padimate-o, 2-ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, triclosan, and methyl triclosan in lettuce by ultrasound-assisted extraction combined with solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry was developed. Lettuce was directly extracted by ultrasound-assisted extraction with methanol, this extract was combined with water, extracted by solid-phase microextraction in immersion mode, and analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. Good linear relationships (25–250 ng/g, R2 > 0.9702) and low detection limits (1.0–25 ng/g) were obtained for analytes along with acceptable precision for almost all analytes (RSDs < 20%). The validated method was applied for the determination of personal care product ingredients in commercial lettuce and lettuces grown in soil and irrigated with the analytes, identifying the target analytes in leaves and roots of the latter. This procedure is a miniaturized and environmentally friendly proposal which can be a useful tool for quality analysis in lettuce.

Abstract

A simple method for the simultaneous determination of personal care product ingredients: galaxolide, tonalide, oxybenzone, 4-methylbenzyliden camphor, padimate-o, 2-ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, triclosan, and methyl triclosan in lettuce by ultrasound-assisted extraction combined with solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry was developed. Lettuce was directly extracted by ultrasound-assisted extraction with methanol, this extract was combined with water, extracted by solid-phase microextraction in immersion mode, and analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. Good linear relationships (25–250 ng/g, R> 0.9702) and low detection limits (1.0–25 ng/g) were obtained for analytes along with acceptable precision for almost all analytes (RSDs < 20%). The validated method was applied for the determination of personal care product ingredients in commercial lettuce and lettuces grown in soil and irrigated with the analytes, identifying the target analytes in leaves and roots of the latter. This procedure is a miniaturized and environmentally friendly proposal which can be a useful tool for quality analysis in lettuce.

Effect of the flow profile on separation efficiency in pressure-assisted reversed-polarity capillary zone electrophoresis of anions: Simulation and experimental evaluation

Capillary electrophoresis connected to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry is a promising combination to analyze complex biological samples. The use of sheathless electrospray ionization interfaces, such as a porous nanoelectrospray capillary emitter, requires the application of forward flow (either by pressure or electroosmosis) to maintain the electrospray process. The analysis of solute molecules with strong negative charges (e.g., aminopyrenetrisulfonate labeled glycans) necessitates a reversed-polarity capillary electrophoresis separation mode, in which case the electroosmotic flow is counter current, thus pressure assistance is necessary. In this study, we compared the effect of forced convection with and without counter electroosmotic flow on the resulting separation efficiency in capillary electrophoresis based on flow profile simulations by computational fluid dynamics technique and by actual experiments. The efficiencies of the detected peaks were calculated from the resulting electropherograms and found approximately 950 000 plates/m for electrophoresis with counter electroosmotic flow, 20 000 plates/m with pressure only (such as would be in open tubular liquid chromatography), and 480 000 plates/m for electrophoresis with simultaneous counter electroosmotic flow and forward pressure assistance, which validates the simulation data.

Abstract

Capillary electrophoresis connected to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry is a promising combination to analyze complex biological samples. The use of sheathless electrospray ionization interfaces, such as a porous nanoelectrospray capillary emitter, requires the application of forward flow (either by pressure or electroosmosis) to maintain the electrospray process. The analysis of solute molecules with strong negative charges (e.g., aminopyrenetrisulfonate labeled glycans) necessitates a reversed-polarity capillary electrophoresis separation mode, in which case the electroosmotic flow is counter current, thus pressure assistance is necessary. In this study, we compared the effect of forced convection with and without counter electroosmotic flow on the resulting separation efficiency in capillary electrophoresis based on flow profile simulations by computational fluid dynamics technique and by actual experiments. The efficiencies of the detected peaks were calculated from the resulting electropherograms and found approximately 950 000 plates/m for electrophoresis with counter electroosmotic flow, 20 000 plates/m with pressure only (such as would be in open tubular liquid chromatography), and 480 000 plates/m for electrophoresis with simultaneous counter electroosmotic flow and forward pressure assistance, which validates the simulation data.

Application of off-line two-dimensional high-performance countercurrent chromatography on the chloroform-soluble extract of Cuscuta auralis seeds

In this study, the chloroform-soluble extract of C. auralis was separated successfully using off-line two-dimensional high-performance countercurrent chromatography, yielding a γ-pyrone, two alkaloids, a flavonoid and four lignans. The first-dimensional countercurrent separation using a methylene chloride/methanol/water (11:6:5, v/v/v) system yielded three sub-fractions (fractions I–III). The second-dimensional countercurrent separations, conducted on fractions I–III using n-hexane/ethyl and acetate/methanol/acetic acid (5:5:5:5:0, 3:7:3:7:0 and 1:9:1:9:0.01, v/v/v/v/v) systems, gave maltol (1), (−)-(13S)-cuscutamine (2), (+)-(13R)-cuscutamine (3), (+)-pinoresinol (4), (+)-epipinoresinol (5), kaempferol (6), piperitol (7) and (9R)-hydroxy-d-sesamin (8). To the best of our knowledge, maltol was identified for the first time in Cuscuta species. Furthermore, this report details the first full assignment of spectroscopic data of two cuscutamine epimers, (−)-(13S)-cuscutamine and (+)-(13R)-cuscutamine.
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Abstract

In this study, the chloroform-soluble extract of C. auralis was separated successfully using off-line two-dimensional high-performance countercurrent chromatography, yielding a γ-pyrone, two alkaloids, a flavonoid and four lignans. The first-dimensional countercurrent separation using a methylene chloride/methanol/water (11:6:5, v/v/v) system yielded three sub-fractions (fractions I–III). The second-dimensional countercurrent separations, conducted on fractions I–III using n-hexane/ethyl and acetate/methanol/acetic acid (5:5:5:5:0, 3:7:3:7:0 and 1:9:1:9:0.01, v/v/v/v/v) systems, gave maltol (1), (−)-(13S)-cuscutamine (2), (+)-(13R)-cuscutamine (3), (+)-pinoresinol (4), (+)-epipinoresinol (5), kaempferol (6), piperitol (7) and (9R)-hydroxy-d-sesamin (8). To the best of our knowledge, maltol was identified for the first time in Cuscuta species. Furthermore, this report details the first full assignment of spectroscopic data of two cuscutamine epimers, (−)-(13S)-cuscutamine and (+)-(13R)-cuscutamine.

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Elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography separation of six pairs of isomeric iridoids from Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc. guided by ion current extraction in mass spectrometry

A mass spectrometry–guided elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography protocol was developed to separate chemical components from Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc. In this study, ion current extraction, a mass spectrometry–based data postacquisition method, was utilized to boost the separation power and scope of countercurrent chromatography technique. As a peak repicking and denoising tool, ion current extraction was carried out to process the liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry and the countercurrent chromatography with mass spectrometry data. So the target components were reacquired in the created extracted ion current patterns with enhanced responses and diminished background noise, which facilitated the distribution constant determination (by liquid chromatography with extracted ion current) and the targets fractionation (by countercurrent chromatography with extracted ion current). Under the guidance of the extracted ion currents of the target components and with the support of elution–extrusion mode in the countercurrent chromatography separation, six pairs of minor iridoid isomers were obtained in shortened experimental duration. Besides, a reciprocal shifted symmetry plot was established to represent the elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography chromatogram. The results demonstrated the capability of the ion current extraction–guided elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography protocol in discovery, analysis, and fractionation of low-concentration and structurally similar chemicals from a complicated sample.

Abstract

A mass spectrometry–guided elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography protocol was developed to separate chemical components from Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc. In this study, ion current extraction, a mass spectrometry–based data postacquisition method, was utilized to boost the separation power and scope of countercurrent chromatography technique. As a peak repicking and denoising tool, ion current extraction was carried out to process the liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry and the countercurrent chromatography with mass spectrometry data. So the target components were reacquired in the created extracted ion current patterns with enhanced responses and diminished background noise, which facilitated the distribution constant determination (by liquid chromatography with extracted ion current) and the targets fractionation (by countercurrent chromatography with extracted ion current). Under the guidance of the extracted ion currents of the target components and with the support of elution–extrusion mode in the countercurrent chromatography separation, six pairs of minor iridoid isomers were obtained in shortened experimental duration. Besides, a reciprocal shifted symmetry plot was established to represent the elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography chromatogram. The results demonstrated the capability of the ion current extraction–guided elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography protocol in discovery, analysis, and fractionation of low-concentration and structurally similar chemicals from a complicated sample.

Evaluation of solid-phase extraction procedures for the quantitation of venlafaxine in human saliva by high-performance liquid chromatography

In recent years, the use of human saliva for diagnostic purposes has evoked great interest. Thus, the aim of this study was to choose the optimal solid-phase extraction cartridges and extraction solvents for the quantitation of venlafaxine in saliva. Blank saliva samples spiked with venlafaxine concentrations between 25 and 750 ng/mL were analyzed using five solid-phase extraction columns (C18, C8, Strata-X, Strata-X-C, and Strata-X-AW), washing solvents (deionized water, phosphate buffer at pH 5.5, and their mixtures with methanol), and elution solvents (methanol, acetonitrile, and their mixtures with 25% ammonia). A high-performance liquid chromatography system was used to quantify venlafaxine in saliva. The results of this study revealed that nine of 25 procedures enabled quantitation of venlafaxine in the tested concentration range. The procedure that used a C18 cartridge, a mixture of methanol and deionized water as the washing solvent, and methanol as the elution solvent was the most effective and allowed quantitation of all venlafaxine concentrations with an acceptable recovery. In contrast, the Strata-X-C cartridge could not detect venlafaxine at the lowest concentration (25 ng/mL). The data acquired from the high-performance liquid chromatography system were confirmed by a multivariate data analysis.

Abstract

In recent years, the use of human saliva for diagnostic purposes has evoked great interest. Thus, the aim of this study was to choose the optimal solid-phase extraction cartridges and extraction solvents for the quantitation of venlafaxine in saliva. Blank saliva samples spiked with venlafaxine concentrations between 25 and 750 ng/mL were analyzed using five solid-phase extraction columns (C18, C8, Strata-X, Strata-X-C, and Strata-X-AW), washing solvents (deionized water, phosphate buffer at pH 5.5, and their mixtures with methanol), and elution solvents (methanol, acetonitrile, and their mixtures with 25% ammonia). A high-performance liquid chromatography system was used to quantify venlafaxine in saliva. The results of this study revealed that nine of 25 procedures enabled quantitation of venlafaxine in the tested concentration range. The procedure that used a C18 cartridge, a mixture of methanol and deionized water as the washing solvent, and methanol as the elution solvent was the most effective and allowed quantitation of all venlafaxine concentrations with an acceptable recovery. In contrast, the Strata-X-C cartridge could not detect venlafaxine at the lowest concentration (25 ng/mL). The data acquired from the high-performance liquid chromatography system were confirmed by a multivariate data analysis.

A novel sorbent based on carbon nanotube/amino-functionalized sol–gel for the headspace solid-phase microextraction of α-bisabolol from medicinal plant samples using experimental design

A novel sol–gel coating on a stainless-steel fiber was developed for the first time for the headspace solid-phase microextraction and determination of α-bisabolol with gas chromatography and flame ionization detection. The parameters influencing the efficiency of solid-phase microextraction process, such as extraction time and temperature, pH and ionic strength were optimized by experimental design method. Under optimized conditions, the linear range was between 0.0027 and 100 μg/mL. The relative standard deviations determined at 0.01 and 1.0 μg/mL concentration levels (n = 3) respectively were as follows: intraday relative standard deviations 3.4 and 3.3%; interday relative standard deviations 5.0 and 4.3%; fiber-to-fiber relative standard deviations 6.0 and 3.5%. The relative recovery values were 90.3 and 101.4% at 0.01 and 1.0 μg/mL spiking levels, respectively. The proposed method was successfully applied to various real samples containing α-bisabolol.
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Abstract

A novel sol–gel coating on a stainless-steel fiber was developed for the first time for the headspace solid-phase microextraction and determination of α-bisabolol with gas chromatography and flame ionization detection. The parameters influencing the efficiency of solid-phase microextraction process, such as extraction time and temperature, pH and ionic strength were optimized by experimental design method. Under optimized conditions, the linear range was between 0.0027 and 100 μg/mL. The relative standard deviations determined at 0.01 and 1.0 μg/mL concentration levels (= 3) respectively were as follows: intraday relative standard deviations 3.4 and 3.3%; interday relative standard deviations 5.0 and 4.3%; fiber-to-fiber relative standard deviations 6.0 and 3.5%. The relative recovery values were 90.3 and 101.4% at 0.01 and 1.0 μg/mL spiking levels, respectively. The proposed method was successfully applied to various real samples containing α-bisabolol.

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Graphene-doped electrochemical copolymer coating of 2,2-bithiophene and 3-methylthiophene for the highly effective solid-phase microextraction of volatile benzene homologues

We report the electrochemical fabrication of a poly(2,2-bithiophene-co-3-methylthiophene)-graphene composite coating and its application in the headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography determination of benzenes (i.e., bromobenzene, 4-bromotoluene, 2-nitrotoluene, 3-nitrotoluene and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene). The coating was uniform and showed cauliflower-like microstructure. It had high thermal stability (up to 375°C) and could be used for at least 180 times of solid-phase microextraction without a decrease in extraction performance. Furthermore, it presented high extraction capacity for the benzenes due to the hydrophobic effect and π–π interaction between the analytes and the coating. Under optimized extraction conditions, good linearity (correlation coefficients higher than 0.9946), wide linear range (0.01–50 μg/L), and low limits of detection (5.25–12.5 ng/L) were achieved for these analytes. The relative standard deviation was lower than 5.7% for five successive measurements with one fiber, and the relative standard deviation for fiber-to-fiber was 4.9–6.8% (n = 5). The solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography method was successfully applied for the determination of three real samples, and the recoveries for standards added were 89.6–106% for nail polish, 85.8–110% for hair dye, and 90–106.2% for correction fluid, respectively.

Abstract

We report the electrochemical fabrication of a poly(2,2-bithiophene-co-3-methylthiophene)-graphene composite coating and its application in the headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography determination of benzenes (i.e., bromobenzene, 4-bromotoluene, 2-nitrotoluene, 3-nitrotoluene and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene). The coating was uniform and showed cauliflower-like microstructure. It had high thermal stability (up to 375°C) and could be used for at least 180 times of solid-phase microextraction without a decrease in extraction performance. Furthermore, it presented high extraction capacity for the benzenes due to the hydrophobic effect and π–π interaction between the analytes and the coating. Under optimized extraction conditions, good linearity (correlation coefficients higher than 0.9946), wide linear range (0.01–50 μg/L), and low limits of detection (5.25–12.5 ng/L) were achieved for these analytes. The relative standard deviation was lower than 5.7% for five successive measurements with one fiber, and the relative standard deviation for fiber-to-fiber was 4.9–6.8% (n = 5). The solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography method was successfully applied for the determination of three real samples, and the recoveries for standards added were 89.6–106% for nail polish, 85.8–110% for hair dye, and 90–106.2% for correction fluid, respectively.