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Simultaneous analysis of insect repellent DEET, sunscreen oxybenzone and five relevant metabolites by reversed-phase HPLC with UV detection: application to an in vivo study in a piglet model.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba, 50 Sifton Road, Winnipeg, Man., Canada.


N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) and oxybenzone are two essential active ingredients in insect repellent and sunscreen preparations. We developed and validated a simple, sensitive, and selective HPLC assay to simultaneously measure DEET, oxybenzone and five primary metabolites of DEET and oxybenzone in biological samples including plasma, urine and skin strips. The compounds were separated on a reversed-phase C18 column using three-stage gradient steps with methanol and water. DEET and two relevant metabolites were detected at 254 nm, while oxybenzone and three relevant metabolites were detected at 289 nm. The limit of detection was 0.6 ng for DEET and 0.5 ng for oxybenzone, respectively. The developed method was further applied to analyze various biological samples from an in vivo animal study that evaluated concurrent use of commercially available insect repellent and sunscreen preparations.

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