A new method is presented for the analysis of phenolic acids in plasma based on ion-pairing ‘Micro-extraction in packed sorbent’ (MEPS) coupled on-line to in-liner derivatisation-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The ion-pairing reagent served a dual purpose. It was used both to improve extraction yields of the more polar analytes and as the methyl donor in the automated in-liner derivatisation method. In this way, a fully-automated procedure for the extraction, derivatisation and injection of a wide range of phenolic acids in plasma samples has been obtained.
An extensive optimisation of the extraction and derivatisation procedure has been performed. The entire method showed excellent repeatabilities of under 10% and linearities of 0.99 or better for all phenolic acids. The limits of detection of the optimised method for the majority of phenolic acids were 10 ng/mL or lower with three phenolic acids having less-favourable detection limits of around 100 ng/mL. Finally, the newly-developed method has been applied in a human intervention trial in which the bioavailability of polyphenols from wine and tea was studied. Forty plasma samples could be analysed within 24 h in a fully-automated method including sample extraction, derivatisation and gas chromatographic analysis.
Keywords: automation; gas chromatography; micro-extraction in a packed sorbent (MEPS); ion-pairing extraction; in-liner derivatisation; plasma; phenolic acids
Posted: November 15, 2011, 10:11 am
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