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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2007 Jun 28;44(2):368-78. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Recent applications of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in natural products bioanalysis.

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School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, PR China.


Natural flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins and sesquiterpenoids have been extensively investigated because of their biological and physiological significances, as well as their promising clinical uses. It is necessary to monitor them or their metabolites in biological fluids for both pre-clinical studies and routine clinical uses. The successful hyphenation of LC and MS, which was thought as "the bird wants to marry with fish", has been conducted widely in biological samples analysis. This present paper reviewed the feasibility of LC-MS techniques in the identification and quantification of natural products (flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins and sesquiterpenoids) in biological fluids, dealing with sample preparation, LC techniques, suitability of different MS techniques. Perspective of LC-MS was also discussed to show the potential of this technology. The citations cover the period 2002-2006. We conclude that LC-MS is an extremely powerful tool for the analysis of natural products in biological samples.

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