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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2011 May 15;879(17-18):1290-307. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2010.10.035. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

Ultraviolet derivatization of low-molecular-mass thiols for high performance liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis analysis.

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Institute of Chemistry, Military University of Technology, 2 Kaliskiego Str., 00-908 Warsaw, Poland.


Thiols play an important role in metabolic processes of all living creatures and their analytical control is very important in order to understand their physiological and pathological function. Among a variety of methods available to measure thiol concentrations, chemical derivatization utilizing a suitable labeling reagent followed by liquid chromatographic or electrophoretic separation is the most reliable means for sensitive and specific determination of thiol compounds in real world samples. Ultraviolet detection is, for its simplicity, commonly used technique in liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis, and consequently many ultraviolet derivatization reagents are in used. This review summarizes HPLC and CE ultraviolet derivatization based methods, including pre-analytical considerations, procedures for sample reduction, derivatization, and separation of the primary biological aminothiols--cysteine, homocysteine, cysteinylglycine and glutathione, and most important thiol-drugs in pharmaceutical formulations and biological samples. Cognizance of the biochemistry involved in the formation of the analytes is taken.

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