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Strategies in quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of unstable small molecules in biological matrices

Li, Wenkui, Zhang, Jie and Tse, Francis (2011) Strategies in quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of unstable small molecules in biological matrices. Biomedical Chromatography, 25 (1-2). pp. 258-277. ISSN 0269-3879


Stability is an important pre-analytical variable for quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of drug molecules and/or their metabolites in biological matrices. Instability of an analyte in any stage of the bioanalytical process, including sample collection, processing, storage, extraction and LC-MS/MS analysis, can result in under-/over-estimation if an adequate preventive procedure is not in place. In the current review on practical strategies in quantitative LC-MS/MS bioanalysis of unstable small molecules, the common causes of analyte instability were examined. The instability of some analytes is readily predictable because of the presence of certain chemically or biologically labile moieties in the molecules or because the compounds are in an inter-convertible form, e.g. lactone vs. hydroxyl carboxylic acid. However, the instability of many other analytes is not readily predictable. Necessary evaluation needs to be conducted to identify the possible instability issues. The current review highlighted some general considerations and specific approaches for developing a robust LC-MS/MS method. In particular, incurred samples should be used as a part of routine short-term stability assessment of any unstable analyte during the early stages of method development and validation. This can help unveil any ‘hidden’ instability issues that, if left unaddressed, could lead to the invalidation of a ‘validated’ method.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: This is an invited review manuscript
Keywords: LC-MS/MS, quantification, instability, strategies, stabilization, small molecules, blood, plasma, serum, DBS
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Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 13:15
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 13:15