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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011 Jun 1;55(3):385-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2011.02.006. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

A kinetic method for the determination of plasma protein binding of compounds unstable in plasma: Specific application to enalapril.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, AstraZeneca R&D Charnwood, Loughborough LE11 5RH, UK.


Traditional methods for the determination of plasma protein binding (PPB), such as equilibrium dialysis and ultrafiltration, normally operate on a timescale ranging from tens of minutes to several hours and are not suitable for measuring compounds that have significant chemical degradation on this timescale. One such compound is enalapril. Although stable in human plasma enalapril is subject to rapid esterase-catalyzed hydrolysis in rat plasma. A method has been developed which allows the extent of rat PPB of enalapril to be determined from initial rates kinetics of the adsorption of the unstable compound to dextran coated charcoal (DCC). The method has been applied to stable compounds, and the results are consistent with those from traditional equilibrium dialysis experiments. The experimental method is simple to run, requires no specialized equipment, and can potentially be applied to other compounds that show instability in plasma where traditional experimental techniques are unsuitable.

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