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Anal Chem. 2012 Sep 4;84(17):7415-21. doi: 10.1021/ac3012208. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

Monolithic precolumns as efficient tools for guiding the design of nanoparticulate drug-delivery formulations.

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  • 1Joanneum Research, HEALTH, Elisabethstrasse 5, 8010 Graz, Austria.


The development of nanomedicines for improved diagnosis and treatment of diseases is pushing current analytical methods to their limits. More efficient, quantitative high-throughput screening methods are needed to guide the optimization of promising nanoparticulate drug delivery formulations. In response to this need, we present herein a novel approach using monolithic separation media. The unique porosity of our capillary monolithic precolumns allows the direct injection and online removal of protamine-oligonucleotide nanoparticles ("proticles") without column clogging, thus avoiding the need for time-consuming off-line sample workup. Furthermore, ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP)-derived monoliths show equivalent preconcentration efficiency for the target drug vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) as conventional particle-packed precolumns. The performance of the ROMP-derived monolithic precolumns was constant over at least 100 injections of crude proticle-containing and 300 injections of highly acidic samples. Applying a validated LC-MS/MS capillary monolithic column switching method, we demonstrate the rapid determination of both drug load and in vitro drug release kinetics of proticles within the critical first 2 h and investigate the stability of VIP-loaded proticles in aqueous storage medium intended for inhalation therapy.

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