Development of LC-MS/MS Methods for the Analysis of Chiral and Achiral Pharmaceuticals and Metabolites in Aqueous Environmental Matrices

Abstract: This thesis describes the development of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods for the trace analysis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and their metabolites in aqueous environmental matrices. The research was focused on the development of chiral LC-MS/MS methods for the analysis of fluoxetine and metoprolol, as well as their chiral metabolites in environmental water samples. A method was also developed for the achiral compounds, diazepam and nordiazepam. The LC-MS/MS methods were validated by the use of the isotope-labeled compounds. As these isotope-labeled compounds were not found in the wastewater samples, the validation could be assessed at trace level concentrations in the actual matrices in which the analytes were detected. The analytes were extracted from the water samples using solid phase extraction methods. Different types of solid phase extraction sorbents were evaluated. Fluoxetine and norfluoxetine were extracted through the use of a mixed mode polymeric based extraction sorbent. A hydrophilic and lipophilic balanced sorbent was employed for the simultaneous extraction of metoprolol and its metabolites, the base α-hydroxymetoprolol and the acidic metabolite deaminated metoprolol. Moreover, silica based C18 extraction discs were applied for the sample preparation of diazepam and nordiazepam. The chromatographic separations were conducted in reversed phase LC with MS compatible mobile phases. The enantiomers of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine were simultaneously separated using the chiral stationary phase (CSP), α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP). The Chiral AGP column was also applied for the separation of the enantiomers of deaminated metoprolol. For the simultaneous separation of the metoprolol enantiomers and the four stereoisomers of α-hydroxymetoprolol, the cellobiohydrolase (CBH) protein based CSP was used. An octadecyl silica based LC column was applied for the separation of diazepam and nordiazepam. The analytes were detected by the use of tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry operating in selective reactive monitoring mode. High resolution MS, employing a quadrupole time-of-flight (QqTOF) mass analyzer, was utilized for the identification of an unknown compound in wastewater samples. The APIs and their metabolites, as well as their respective enantiomers, were quantified in raw and treated wastewater from Uppsala, Sweden along with surface water from the River Fyris in Uppsala.