Trace-level aliphatic amines in cationic pharmaceutical ingredients


The analytical challenge treated by the present work consists in detecting sub-ppb concentrations of low-molecular-weight amines in the presence of strongly retained cationic drugs by using ion chromatography (IC) with upstream inline coupled-column matrix elimination (CCME). In contrast to direct-injection IC, where the late elution of strongly retained drugs requires eluents with added acetonitrile, the CCME technique uses two preconcentration columns in series. In an «inverse matrix elimination step, cationic drug and target amines are trapped on a high-capacity and a very-high-capacity preconcentration column, respectively. During amine determination, a rinsing solution flushes the drug to waste. This significantly shortens the analysis time and improves sensitivity as well as selectivity. Besides the determination of monomethylamine in Nebivolol hydrochloride discussed here, the CCME technique is a promising tool for detecting further low-molecular-weight amines in a wide range of drugs.