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Temperature-programmed high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry

Fay, Laurent
Published in Analytical Chemistry. 2008, vol. 80, no. 18, p. 7144-7152
Abstract The utility of liquid chromatography coupled to the isotope ratio mass spectrometry technique (LC-IRMS) has already been established through a variety of successful applications. However, the analytical constraint related to the use of aqueous mobile phases limits the LC separation mechanism. We report here a new strategy for high-precision (13)C isotopic analyses based on temperature-programmed LC-IRMS using aqueous mobile phases. Under these conditions, the isotopic precision and accuracy were studied. On one hand, experiments were carried out with phenolic acids using isothermal LC conditions at high temperature (170 degrees C); on the other hand, several experiments were performed by ramping the temperature, as conventionally used in a gas chromatography-based method with hydrosoluble fatty acids and pulses of CO 2 reference gas. In isothermal conditions at 170 degrees C, despite the increase of the CO 2 background, p-coumaric acid and its glucuronide conjugate gave reliable isotopic ratios compared to flow injection analysis-isotopic ratio mass spectrometry (FIA-IRMS) analyses (isotopic precision and accuracy are lower than 0.3 per thousand). On the opposite, for its sulfate conjugate, the isotopic accuracy is affected by its coelution with p-coumaric acid. Not surprisingly, this study also demonstrates that at high temperature (170 degrees C), a compound eluting with long residence time (i.e., ferulic acid) is degraded, affecting thus the delta (13)C (drift of 3 per thousand) and the peak area (compared to FIA-IRMS analysis at room temperature). Quantitation is also reported in isothermal conditions for p-coumaric acid in the range of 10-400 ng/mL and with benzoic acid as an internal standard. For temperature gradient LC-IRMS, in the area of the LC gradient (set up at 20 degrees C/min), the drift of the background observed produces a nonlinearity of SD (delta (13)C) approximately 0.01 per thousand/mV. To circumvent this drift, which impacts severely the precision and accuracy, an alternative approach, i.e., eluting the compound on the plateau of temperature studied was reported here. Other experiments with temperature-programmed LC-IRMS experiments are also reported with the presence of methanol in the injected solution to mimic residual solvent originating from the sample preparation or to slightly increase the solubility of the targeted compound for high-precision measurement.
Keywords Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid/methodsCoumaric Acids/chemistryInjectionsIsotopesMass Spectrometry/methodsMethanol/chemistryTemperature
PMID: 18690698
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GODIN, Jean-Philippe, HOPFGARTNER, Gerard, FAY, Laurent. Temperature-programmed high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry. In: Analytical Chemistry, 2008, vol. 80, n° 18, p. 7144-7152. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:2303

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Deposited on : 2009-08-04

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