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Anal Chem. 2008 Aug 1;80(15):5912-23. doi: 10.1021/ac800507y. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Metabolite identification using a nanoelectrospray LC-EC-array-MS integrated system.

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Barnett Institute and Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


A novel approach to the parallel coupling of normal-bore high-performance liquid chromatography (LC) with electrochemical-array detection (EC-array) and nanoelectrospray mass spectrometry (MS), based on the use of a nanosplitting interface, is described where both detectors are utilized at their optimal detection mode for parallel configuration. The dual detection platform was shown to maintain full chromatographic integrity with retention times and peak widths at half-height between the EC-array and MS displaying high reproducibility with relative standard deviations of <2%. Detection compatibility between the two detectors at the part per billion level injected on-column was demonstrated using selected metabolites representative of the diversity typically encountered in physiological systems. Metabolites were detected with equal efficiency whether neat or in serum, demonstrating the system's ability to handle biological samples with limited sample cleanup and reduced concern for biological matrix effects. Direct quantification of known analytes from the EC-array signal using Faraday's law can eliminate the need for isotopically labeled internal standards. The system was successfully applied to the detection and characterization of metabolites of phenylbutyrate from serum samples of Huntington's disease patients in an example that illustrates the complementarity of the dual detection nanoelectrospray LC-EC-array-MS system.

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