Inductively Coupled Plasma-MS in Drug Development: Bioanalytical Aspects and Applications

“Inductively Coupled Plasma-MS in Drug Development: Bioanalytical Aspects and Applications” by QPS researchers Fred van Heuveln, Henri Meijering, and Jaap Wieling, is an extensive overview of the bioanalytical facets of ICP-MS.

Technical issues pertaining to bioanalysis using ICP-MS, such as stability, selectivity, matrix and interference, endogenous elements and labeling, as well as sample preparation from the various biological matrices and method validation, are covered at length. The main differences between procedures for ICP-MS and those for other methodologies are emphasized.

The authors discuss numerous examples of typical current applications in drug discovery, in areas as diverse as PK, metabolism studies, pharmacodynamics, biomarkers, diagnostics, proteomics, metallomics and immunoassays. They suggest that this highly valuable method could be used even more, as elemental analysis can complement or work in conjunction with other kinds of studies, and is the only way to obtain certain kinds of data.

Finally, the paper delves into possible, though challenging, current uses of ICP-MS, such as for metabolite identification, elemental imaging, DBS analysis, sensitive quantification of nonmetals, and improved testing of high matrix (liquid/solid) samples. The authors point to certain future developments, such as improved ICP-MS sensitivity and selectivity, wider availability of HR-ICP-MS, and novel ways to detect anions, that could make ICP-MS an even more powerful research tool than it already is.

About ICP-MS

In inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), electromagnetically-induced plasma is used to ionize a sample. Sample ions are then separated and quantified by mass spectrometry. This fast, precise and highly sensitive method can detect levels of metals and nonmetals at infinitesimal concentra­tions, even below pg/ml.

The nature of the ionization process completely obliterates molecular structures; only isolated elements remain. Elements formerly associated with drug molecules are indistinguishable from similar elements from other sources. Therefore, only drug molecules that contain a specific element other than carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen or oxygen can be analyzed successfully by ICP-MS.

Inductively Coupled Plasma-MS in Drug Development: Bioanalytical Aspects and Applications

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