High-resolution mass spectrometry method for the detection, characterization and quantitation of pharmaceuticals in water

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The presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water is an emerging environmental concern. In most environmental testing laboratories, LC-MS/MS assays based on selected reaction monitoring are used as part of a battery of tests used to assure water quality. Although LC-MS/MS continues to be the best tool for detecting pharmaceuticals in water, the combined use of hybrid high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) is starting to become a practical tool to study emerging environmental contaminants. The hybrid LTQ-orbitrap mass spectrometer is suitable for integrated quantitative and qualitative bioanalysis because of the following reasons: (1) the ability to collect full-scan HRMS spectra with scan speeds suitable for UHPLC separations, (2) routine measurement of mass with less than 5 ppm mass accuracy, (3) high mass resolving power, and (4) ability to perform on-the-fly polarity switching in the linear ion trap (LTQ). In the present work, we provide data demonstrating the application of UHPLC-LTQ-orbitrap for the detection, characterization and quantification of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in drinking water. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Journal of Mass Spectrometry

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