For a small but important number of compounds, ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) is a good alternative quantitative and qualitative method. In ICP-MS, the samples are ionized by an inductively coupled plasma followed by separation and detection on an elemental mass spectrometer.
SOME OF THE FEATURES OF THIS USEFUL TOOL ARE:
- ICP-MS detects elements instead of molecules. With the exception of a few elements (C, H, N, O and the noble gasses), all elements can be detected. A specific element serves as a tag for the drug molecule of interest, thus enabling quantitation of this drug molecule in a particular matrix. The technique is highly linear and can be used quantitatively for a broad concentration range. Sample processing is relatively straightforward with high throughput resulting in fast turnaround times.
- Total concentration. Typical applications of ICP-MS are pharmacokinetic, imaging, mass balance, pharmacodynamics, and toxicology studies. Furthermore ICP-MS is frequently used for limit test of elements, trace elemental analysis, and formulation analysis.
- Molecule specific concentration. LC-ICP-MS measures the element concentration of all compounds present in the matrix that contain the element of interest and which are chromatographically separated. LC-ICP-MS enables metabolite profiling, determination of biotransformation and/or degradation products.
- ICP-MS is capable of multi-element analysis.
- ICP-MS can be combined with LC-MS/MS (parallel detection).
- ICP-MS can be used as detector for ELISA assays.