Send to

Choose Destination
Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2016 Jul 30;30(14):1705-1712. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7607.

Extraction efficiency and implications for absolute quantitation of propranolol in mouse brain, liver and kidney tissue sections using droplet-based liquid microjunction surface sampling high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.

Author information

Mass Spectrometry and Laser Spectroscopy Group, Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831-6131, USA.
ORISE HERE Intern, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA.
Department of Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Drug Metabolism, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA, 19486, USA.



Currently, the absolute quantitation aspects of droplet-based surface sampling for tissue analysis using a fully automated autosampler/high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS/MS) system have not been fully evaluated. Knowledge of extraction efficiency and its reproducibility is required to judge the potential of the method for absolute quantitation of analytes from tissue sections.


Adjacent tissue sections of propranolol-dosed mouse brain (10-μm-thick), kidney (10-μm-thick) and liver (8-, 10-, 16- and 24-μm-thick) were obtained. The absolute concentration of propranolol was determined in tissue punches from serial sections using standard bulk tissue extraction protocols and subsequent HPLC separations and MS/MS analysis. These values were used to determine propranolol extraction efficiency from the tissues with the droplet-based surface sampling approach.


Extraction efficiency of propranolol using 10-μm-thick brain, kidney and liver tissues using droplet-based surface sampling varied between ~45 and 63%. The extraction efficiency decreased from ~65% to ~36% with liver thickness increasing from 8 μm to 24 μm. Selecting half of the samples as standards, the precision and accuracy of propranolol concentrations were determined for the other half of the samples that were employed as a quality control data set. The resulting precision (±15%) and accuracy (±3%) were within acceptable limits.


Quantitation of adjacent mouse tissue sections of different organs and of various thicknesses by droplet-based surface sampling in comparison with bulk extraction of tissue punches showed that extraction efficiency was incomplete using the former method, and that it depended on the organ and tissue thickness. However, once extraction efficiency was determined and applied, the droplet-based approach provided satisfactory quantitation accuracy and precision for assay validations. Thus, once the extraction efficiency was calibrated for a given tissue type, tissue thickness and drug, the droplet-based approach provides a non-labour-intensive and high-throughput means to acquire spatially resolved quantitative analysis of multiple samples of the same type. Published in 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center