5 years ago

Effects of liquid post-column addition in electrospray ionization performance in supercritical fluid chromatography–mass spectrometry

In supercritical fluid chromatography coupled to atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry (SFC-MS), the use of a make-up post-column is almost mandatory to avoid analyte precipitation, especially when using low percentage of modifier (<5%) in the mobile phase. Due to the specific nature of gaseous CO2, the tuning of the make-up conditions in electrospray becomes an important factor and can be used to tune analyte sensitivity. Neither a dilution effect (loss of signal) nor a relevant degradation of chromatographic performances is observed with the addition of a make-up at various flow-rates, up to 0.7mL/min. From supercritical conditions (1mL/min 40°C, 150bar) to gaseous state (room temperature, atmospheric pressure), the CO2 expands around 430 times, contributing to almost 5% of the nebulizing process. In positive mode, the presence of ammonium ions either in the mobile phase or in the make-up did significantly increase the MS signal, even at basic apparent pH. The ionization performance of electrospray is influenced by the acidic buffer power of the carbon dioxide, and was found to be restricted in the apparent pH range of 3.8–7.2 in the various conditions investigated. This may challenge sensitive detection in negative mode, as illustrated for bosentan. The use of DMSO as make-up additive (up to 30%) showed a simplification of the full scan spectrum regarding the adducts. Finally, the optimization of make-up composition leads to an enhancement up to a factor of 69 on the electrospray MS response signal, for the SFC-SRM/MS analysis of HIV protease inhibitors in plasma extracted from Dried Plasma Spots.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021967317312256

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