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Anal Chem. 2001 Apr 15;73(8):1692-8.

Mass spectrometric quantitation of chiral drugs by the kinetic method.

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Aston Laboratory for Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


A novel mass spectrometric method for rapid, accurate (2-4% ee) quantitation of chiral drugs is described. Copper(II)-bound complexes of seven model drugs (atenolol, DOPA, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, isoproterenol, norepinephrine, propranolol) with chiral reference compounds (L-amino acids) are generated by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The trimeric complex ions (three chiral ligands--one of the analyte and two of the reference compound) are collisionally activated, and they undergo dissociation by competitive loss of either the neutral reference or the neutral drug molecule. The ratio of the two competitive dissociation rates, viz. the product ion branching ratio, is related via the kinetic method to the enantiomeric composition of the drug mixture. A two-point calibration curve, derived from the kinetic method, allows rapid quantitation of enantiomeric excess of drug mixtures. The chiral sensitivity of the method is such as to allow determination of mixtures with a few percent enantiomeric contamination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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