Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) for … interaction chromatography (HILIC) ... conditions has been the use of ion-pairing ... Conclusion: HILIC is shown to be ... - [PDF Document] (2024)

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special Focus: advances in chRomatogRaphy

Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) is increasingly becoming a method of choice for the analysis of polar compounds [1–5]. Many of the problems associated with analyz-ing very polar compounds by reversed phase LC (RPLC) stem from their lack of retention on the stationary phase. First and foremost is the lack of chromatographic resolution that can make unequivocal identification difficult. In some cases, this can necessitate LC condi-tions that use 100% aqueous mobile phases. Without an analytical column designed for such conditions, pore dewetting can occur, further compromising peak shape and reso-lution [6]. In the past, the most common method of improving retention under RPLC conditions has been the use of ion-pairing agents, such as octyl sulfate or lauryl sulfate to increase the retention of these compounds [7–9]. Unfortunately, these ion-pairing agents are not compatible with MS detection, so identifica-tion is limited to nonspecific detectors, such as electrochemical detection or fluorescence detection. Volatile ion-pairing reagents, which are compatible with MS detection, can also be used to increase retention of polar compounds by reversed-phase chromatography [10,11].

Another problematic issue concerns signal intensity in MS analyses. When compounds elute under high aqueous conditions, desolvation

is less efficient, and signal intensity is not as high as it is under higher organic elution conditions [12]. Matrix effects may also become more com-mon, as poorly retained compounds can elute with many unretained matrix components, such as salts and buffers. This can cause significant signal suppression or enhancement, compro-mising the ability to accurately quantify target analytes [13,14].

One set of polar analytes that poses particu-lar challenges are the monoamine neurotrans-mitters, dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), epinephrine (EP) and norepinephrine (NE). These compounds play a significant role in mood, movement and neurological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease [15–17]. These neurotrans-mitters also play a critical role in the effects and toxicity of recreational drugs [18–20].

The most widespread method for the analy-sis of monoamine neurotransmitters is HPLC coupled to electron-capture dissociation. While this is a well-established method that has been refined over the years, it still has significant limi-tations. These limitations include its inability to unequivocally identify eluting peaks interference from closely eluting components and the need for ion-pairing reagents to improve retention [21].

These limitations have caused many research-ers to develop various LC–MS methods for the

Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) for LC–MS/MS analysis of monoamine neurotransmitters

Background: Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional reversed-phase chromatography for the analysis of polar compounds. The ability to retain the most polar compounds in HILIC makes it attractive for the analysis of certain large groups of compounds, such as monoamines, which are inherently very polar. Results: This paper details the development of a HILIC LC–MS/MS method for the analysis of monoamine neurotransmitters. The emphasis is on method development; in particular, the factors influencing sensitivity, peak shape and resolution. Mobile-phase ionic strength, temperature and stationary phase functionality are shown to be key parameters for the successful development of HILIC methods. Conclusion: HILIC is shown to be an appropriate and suitable method for the analysis of monoamine neurotransmitters and an attractive alternative to reversed-phase analysis. The most polar analytes, which are essentially unretained by reversed-phase chromatography, demonstrate superior retention and resolution when analyzed by HILIC.

Jonathan P Danaceau*, Erin E Chambers & Kenneth J FountainWaters Technologies Corporation, 5 Technology Drive, Milford, MA 01757, USA *Author for correspondence: Tel.: +1 508 482 2511 E-mail: jonathan_danaceau @waters.com

783ISSN 1757-618010.4155/BIO.12.46 © 2012 Future Science Ltd Bioanalysis (2012) 4(7), 783–794

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identification and quantification of these com-pounds, but nearly all use traditional reversed-phase retention mechanisms [21–26]. This work presents the application of HILIC for the anal-ysis of monoamine neurotransmitters using a 2.5 µm hybrid particle bonded with an amide moiety. Retention is substantially improved when compared to reversed-phase analysis, especially for EP and NE, the most polar of these compounds. Separation and chromato-graphic resolution are also improved, allow-ing unequivocal identification of these closely related compounds in a short analysis time.

Methods � Chemicals & reagents

Formic acid and heptaf luorobutyric acid (HFBA) were purchased from Fluka (Buchs, Switzerland). Pure water was produced in-house using a Millipore Elix® water purifica-tion system (MA, USA). Acetonitrile, metha-nol, ammonium acetate and ammonium hydroxide were obtained from Fisher Scientific (PA, USA). Hydrochloric acid was obtained from JT Baker (PA, USA). EP-HCl, NE-HCl, 5-HT-HCl, N-methylserotonin (NMS), Nonafluoropentanoic acid (NFPA) and ascor-bic acid were all obtained from Sigma-Aldrich (MO, USA).

� Standard preparationInitial stock solutions of 1.0 mg/ml for all target analytes were prepared in methanol containing 5% HCl (to facilitate dissolution and prevent oxidation) and stored at -30°C. A working stock solution of 10 µg/ml 5-HT, DA, EP, NE and 1 µg/ml NMS was prepared in methanol contain-ing 0.2% ascorbic acid. Working solutions of 100 ng/ml (10 ng/ml NMS) were freshly prepared daily in starting mobile phase conditions.

� LCAll separations were performed on a Waters ACQUITY® UPLC system equipped with an ACQUITY Sample Manager and column man-ager from Waters Corp. (MA, USA). HILIC sepa-rations were performed using Waters XBridge™ BEH Amide XP and XBridge BEH HILIC XP columns (2.5 µm, 2.1 × 75 mm) at a flow rate of 0.5 ml/min. Mobile phase A (MPA) consisted of 95:5 water:acetonitrile containing either 10, 20, 50 or 100 mM ammonium formate buffered to pH 3.0. Mobile phase B (MPB) consisted of varying combinations of acetonitrile, water and ammonium formate (pH 3.0) that were adjusted

to maximize the content of ammonium formate without adversely affecting the miscibility of the solution. The precise mobile phase compositions are detailed in Table 1. The concentrations of ammonium formate listed in Table 1 refer to the total concentration in the mobile phase, not just the aqueous portion. Initial mobile-phase conditions were 100% MPB. The percentage of MPA was increased to 30% over 2.5 min. The percentage of MPB was returned to 100% over 0.1 min and held there for 1.4 min. The total cycle time was 4.0 min. The injection volume was 20 µl. With the exception of experiments in which column temperature was changed, all separations were performed at 30°C.

Initial reversed-phase analysis was performed on a Waters XBridge C

18 column (2.5 µm,

2.1 × 75 mm), which was chosen to match the base particle composition and dimensions of the HILIC columns exactly. MPA was MilliQ water with 0.1% formic acid and MPB con-sisted of acetonitrile with 0.1% formic acid. Initial mobile phase conditions were 100% MPA. For analysis on the 2.5 µm particle col-umn, following a 0.5 min. hold, the percentage of MPB was changed in a linear gradient from 0 to 30% over 1.5 min. The percentage of MPB was then returned to 0% over 0.1 min and held there for the duration of the analytical run. The total cycle time was 4 min and the flow rate was 0.5 ml/min.

Reversed-phase analysis was also conducted using a Waters Atlantis® T3 column (3.0 µm, 2.1 × 100 mm). Various aqueous mobile phases were investigated, including formic acid and 10 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Acetonitrile was used for the organic mobile phase.

For the investigation of ion-pairing reagents, 0.01% of either NFPA or HFBA was added to MPA and MPB used for reversed phase analy-sis. The resulting mobile phases contained 0.1% formic acid and 0.01% of either NFPA or HFBA. The solvent gradients started at 90% MPA:10% MPB. Following a 0.5 min hold, the percentage of MPB was increased to 80% over 2.5 min. The mobile phase was then returned to starting conditions (90:10, MPA:MPB) over 0.1 min and held at initial conditions for 1.4 min. The total cycle time was 4.5 min.

� MSMS detection was performed using a Waters XevoTM TQ-S triple-quadrupole MS system (Waters Corp.) equipped with an ESI inter-face. The source block temperature was 100°C.

Key Terms

Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC): A form of LC similar to normal-phase chromatography. Bare silica (or silica-hybrid) or polar-modified (e.g., amide) stationary phases are used, combined with high organic content (acetonitrile) mobile phases. Analytes are eluted based upon increasing polarity.

UPLC: A chromatography system consisting of sub-2-µm particle size packing materials and a chromatography system characterized by extremely low system volume coupled with high pressure tolerances.

Bridged ethylene hybrid: A hybrid polymer chromatographic particle consisting of a polyethoxysilane containing embedded ethyl groups. The resulting hybrid is characterized by low surface silanol activity, pH stability and very high pressure tolerances.

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Desolvation gas flow (nitrogen) was 900 l/h. Cone gas flow was 150 l/h. Desolvation tem-perature was 350°C. The capillary voltage was 2.0 kV. Argon was used as the collision gas at a flow of 0.25 ml/min. The precursor ion for each compound was the protonated molecule (M+H)+ with the exception of NE. For this mol-ecule, the (M+H)+ molecule lost an ammonia group in the ion source so the precursor mol-ecule was (M-NH

3)+. Multiple reaction moni-

toring transitions for target analytes are listed in Table 2. Data were acquired and analyzed using MassLynx Software (V4.1; SCN 810).

Results & discussionThe goal of this study was to evaluate and opti-mize the performance of HILIC chromatogra-phy for the separation of monoamine neuro-transmitters and to develop an understanding of the influence of various chromatographic parameters on HILIC separations in general. We used NE, EP, DA, 5-HT and NMS as test compounds. Table 3 shows the structures of the compounds evaluated in this study. All are bases, with amine groups that are ionized at low pH and hydroxyl groups that increase their polarity.

Both XBridge HILIC and XBridge amide columns were evaluated, as well as traditional reversed-phase C

18 columns. Both HILIC col-

umns and one of the reversed-phase columns had the same base particle (Waters Bridged ethylene hybrid), particle sizes (2.5 µm), and dimensions (2.1 × 75 mm). An alternative reversed-phase column, a Waters Atlantis T3 column, was also chosen for evaluation based upon its tolerance for high aqueous mobile phases and enhanced retention for basic com-pounds. The dimensions of this column (3.0 µm, 2.1 × 100 mm) were as close a match as was available to the bridged ethylene hybrid columns used in this study.

� Optimization of mobile-phase compositionFor the initial separation, MPA and MPB each contained 10 mM ammonium formate. This separation can be seen in Figure 1a using the Waters XBridge BEH Amide XP column (2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm). While peak shapes and resolution are acceptable for NMS and 5-HT, the three most polar analytes, DA, EP and NE, all show significant tailing. Retention mecha-nisms for HILIC are complex. While HILIC retention has mainly been attributed to parti-tioning of analytes between the mobile phase

Table 1. Compositions of mobile phase B.

Mobile phase B

ACN (%)

Water (%)

Ammonium formate (mM)

B1 95 5 10B2 91.7 8.3 19B3 90 10 20B4 85 15 30ACN: Acetonitrile.

Table 2. MS parameters used for analysis of monoamine neurotransmitters under hydrophilic interaction chromatography conditions.

Analyte MRM transition (m/z)

Cone voltage (V) Collision energy (V)

NMS 191.1 > 160 30 155-HT 177.0 > 160 14 8DA 154 > 137 18 8EP 184 > 166 12 8NE 152 > 107 30 145-HT: Serotonin; DA: Dopamine; EP: Epinephrine; MRM: Multiple reacion monitoring; NE: Norepinephrine; NMS: N-methylserotonin.

Table 3. Chemical structures and LogP values for monoamine neurotransmitters.

Compund Structure LogP

Serotonin

NH

HO

NH2 0.48

N-methylserotonin

HO

HN

HN

0.69

Dopamine

HO

OH

NH2 0.03

Epinephrine

HO

HOHN

OH -0.43

Norepinephrine

NH 2

OH

HO

HO

-0.68

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and a water-rich layer immobilized on the sur-face of the stationary phase [27,28], there is also ample evidence for other mechanisms, such as ion exchange, hydrogen-bond formation or dipole–dipole interactions [2,5, 29]. We theorized that some of these other interactions between the more polar compounds (DA, EP and NE) and the stationary phase could be responsible for the poor peak shape seen. In an attempt to reduce some of these secondary interactions with the stationary phase, we increased the ionic strength of MPA while keeping all other conditions con-stant. Panels B, C, and D of Figure 1 show the chromatography resulting from ammonium for-mate concentrations of 20, 50 and 100 mM in MPA, respectively. Selected peak properties are shown in Table 4. Peak widths were calculated at 5% of peak height. Peak tailing factors were calculated by MassLynx by dividing the width

of the tailing half of the peak by the leading half of the peak (b/a). The results from these experi-ments show that, with the exception of some slight increases in peak height for DA, EP and NE and reductions in peak width for the same three analytes at 100 mM ammonium formate, increasing the ionic strength on the aqueous mobile phase had little effect on monoamine chromatography.

The lack of effect observed after increasing the ionic strength of the aqueous mobile phase could be related to the mobile-phase composi-tion at the time of elution. The maximum aque-ous content of this gradient is only 30%, so all of these analytes elute at relatively low propor-tions of aqueous mobile phase. Therefore, the lack of effect from increasing the ionic strength of MPA could be attributed to the fact that there was simply not a high enough proportion of

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Figure 1. Effect of increasing mobile phase A buffer concentration on monoamine chromatography. Column: Waters bridged ethylene hybrid amide 2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm. Ammonium formate concentrations in MPA were 10, 20, 50 and 100 mM in (A), (B), (C) and (D), respectively. Mobile phase B consisted of 95:5 acetonitrile:water containing 10 mM ammonium formate. Column temperature was 30°C. Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine.

Table 4. Peak properties resulting from increases in mobile phase A ionic strength.

Molarity (mM)

RT (min)

Peak height

Width (s)

Tailing (b/a)

NMS

10 1.66 1.48E+07 2.39 1.2520 1.66 1.38E+07 2.4 1.2950 1.64 1.63E+07 2.39 1.51100 1.62 1.66E+07 2.43 1.38

5-HT

10 1.84 8.15E+06 2.38 1.320 1.84 7.93E+06 2.41 1.3450 1.83 7.45E+06 2.39 1.29100 1.81 7.26E+06 2.42 1.3

DA

10 2.02 2.64E+06 8.24 5.3120 2.02 2.37E+06 7.13 7.1650 2.01 2.51E+06 7.21 7.96100 2.00 2.76E+06 6.26 6.84

EP

10 2.11 6.93E+06 9.34 3.1920 2.11 6.75E+06 10.13 4.1550 2.09 7.99E+06 10.29 8.88100 2.09 9.49E+06 8.64 6.33

NE

10 2.35 2.32E+06 12.59 7.1520 2.35 1.90E+06 12.45 7.4550 2.34 1.89E+06 12.16 4.84100 2.34 2.65E+06 10.25 8.365-HT: Serotonin; DA: Dopamine; EP: Epinephrine; NE: Norepinephrine; NMS: N-methylserotonin; RT: Retention time.

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aqueous mobile phase present during the chro-matographic separation to significantly change the ionic strength of the adsorbed water layer around the particles. Without this change in the stagnant water layer, it would not be pos-sible to disrupt any secondary interactions with the stationary phase that could be contribut-ing to the poor peak shape. If this is indeed the case, then a more effective strategy would be to increase the ionic strength of MPB. The chal-lenge with this approach is that at the aqueous proportions required for adequate retention of these compounds, increasing the concentration of ammonium formate can decrease the misci-bility of water in acetonitrile, resulting in phase separation between the aqueous and organic components of MPB. In an attempt to increase the buffer concentration, while still maintaining miscibility, we added concentrated (400 mM) ammonium formate to acetonitrile and then gradually added water until the aqueous phase remained in solution. The resulting solutions were then paired with MPA containing 100 mM ammonium formate. The chromatographs of these experiments are seen in Figure 2 and selected peak properties are listed in Table 5.

The changes made in MPB composi-tion clearly had a dramatic, positive effect on monoamine chromatography. Peak height increases ranged from two- to fourfold over the initial values obtained using an organic mobile-phase containing 10 mM ammonium formate and 5% water. Peak widths and tailing were also significantly reduced, especially for the more polar analytes – DA, EP and norpeinephrine. For EP and NE, peak widths were reduced from 8.64 and 10.25 s to 5.07 and 3.76 s, respectively. Peak tailing factors decreased from 6.33 and 8.36 to 2.34 and 1.31, respectively. Initially, the combination of 19 mM ammonium for-mate combined with an aqueous composition of 8.7% appeared to give excellent results in terms of sensitivity and resolution (Figure 2b). Unfortunately, it was not possible to consistently duplicate this mobile phase composition so that the aqueous and organic portions remained dis-solved within each other. Increasing the aque-ous proportion to 10% resulted in complete and consistent miscibility. However, as can be seen in Figure 2C, the peak shape for NMS was asymmetrical. To further increase the solvent strength of MPB, the aqueous proportion was increased to 15%. This was sufficient to con-sistently dissolve 30 mM ammonium formate without separation of the organic and aqueous

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Figure 2. Effects of modifying the ionic strength and aqueous content of mobile phase B on monoamine chromatography. Panels (A), (B), (C) and (D) correspond with mobile phase compositions B1–B4 listed in Table 1. Mobile phase A consisted of 95:5 water:acetonitrile containing 100 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Column temperature was 30 oC. Column: Waters bridged ethylene hybrid amide 2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm. Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine.

phases. The resulting chromatography is seen in Figure 2D. This mobile-phase composition resulted in symmetrical, baseline resolved peaks with minimal tailing. There is some loss of sensi-tivity for 5-HT, DA and EP compared with the mobile phase containing 10% water and 20 mM ammonium formate. This could be a result of a loss of ionization efficiency due to the increased aqueous content of the mobile phase, a decrease in peak height due to slightly wider peaks or a combination of these two factors. Overall, changing the composition of the organic por-tion of the mobile phase had a much greater impact on the chromatography than what was seen with the changes in the aqueous mobile phase, significantly improving both sensitivity and peak shape.

In an attempt to fully characterize the differ-ential effects of mobile phase ionic strength and aqueous content, additional experiments were performed in which each variable was changed independently. Figure 3 & Table 6 demonstrate

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the changes in chromatography and peak prop-erties observed when the aqueous content of MPB was increased without changing the ionic strength. The most obvious effects of this change are a predictable decrease in the retention for all compounds and some fairly dramatic changes in sensitivity. The changes in retention time are consistent with partition models of HILIC in which water is the strong elution solvent. While sensitivity is increased, especially for NMS, peak widths are nearly doubled for most analytes, to the point where NE is no longer separated from EP, but is essentially lost in the tail of the EP peak. EP, in particular demonstrates a prominent shoulder on the backside of the peak that could compromise quantitation.

Figure 4 & Table 7 show the result of increasing the ionic strength of MPB alone while keeping the aqueous content unchanged at 15%. As the elution strength of MPB remains consistent, retention times are not altered. As observed in

Figure 2, however, the increase in ionic strength results in dramatically improved chromatog-raphy. Peak widths for DA, EP and NE were reduced by 65–70% as amonium formate molar-ity increased from 10 to 30 mM. Peak tailing is also significantly reduced and the irregular shape of the EP peak is eliminated. These changes are all consistent with the theory that increasing mobile phase ionic strength can disrupt sec-ondary interactions with the stationary phase, resulting in improved chromatography.

� Choice of stationary phaseWe compared the performance of the amide col-umn detailed above with an unbonded hybrid particle (XBridge HILIC) column of match-ing dimensions. Preliminary work with 10 mM ammonium formate in MPA and MPB had shown that the compounds in this study exhibited better separation and resolution on the amide column versus the XBridge HILIC column. Comparison of the two columns using the optimized conditions described above confirmed those initial results. Figure 5 shows chromatograms of monoamine standards analyzed on the XBridge amide col-umn (Figure 5a) and the XBridge HILIC col-umn (Figure 5b). Clearly, retention of nearly all analytes is superior on the amide column as is the resolution between adjacent peaks. In particular, NMS and 5-HT, which have a resolution factor of 3.8 on the amide column, nearly coelute on the XBridge HILIC column and DA and EP are no longer baseline separated. Resolution was 2.1 for DA and EP on the amide column versus 1.2 on the XBridge HILIC column. The supe-rior performance of the amide column may be attributable to its polar functional group. In an acidic environment (pH 3.0), the polar nature of the amide functionality may be more effective at interacting with the aqueous portion of the mobile phase and forming the stagnant water layer required for HILIC chromatography. Regardless of the exact mechanism, use of the amide column consistently resulted in superior performance for the analytes in this study.

� Effect of temperature on HILIC chromatographyHILIC chromatography can be sensitive to pH and temperature [30,31]. Since monoamines can be unstable at high pH [32], we decided to con-centrate on optimizing performance under the optimized acidic conditions described above and investigated the effect of different temperatures on monoamine chromatography. Figure 6 shows

Table 5. Peak properties resulting from changes in mobile phase B composition.

Molarity (mM)/aqueous (%)

RT (min) Peak height Width (s) Tailing (b/a)

NMS

10/5 1.62 1.66E+07 2.43 1.3819/8.7 1.19 5.34E+07 3.94 1.2320/10 1.07 3.43E+07 6.26 1.0530/15 0.72 5.11E+07 2.34 1.66

5-HT

10/5 1.81 6.93E+06 2.42 1.319/8.7 1.45 2.66E+07 3.06 1.2420/10 1.32 2.27E+07 3.87 1.2530/15 0.86 1.08E+07 3.65 1.48

DA

10/5 2 2.76E+06 6.26 6.8419/8.7 1.69 8.91E+06 4.47 2.5720/10 1.59 1.08E+07 4.07 2.730/15 1.11 7.53E+06 4.22 1.66

EP

10/5 2.09 9.49E+06 8.64 6.3319/8.7 1.79 2.70E+07 5.6 5.5320/10 1.69 4.08E+07 4.95 3.6530/15 1.22 2.80E+07 5.07 2.34

NE

10/5 2.34 2.65E+06 10.25 8.3619/8.7 2.07 4.55E+06 4.23 2.8220/10 1.97 4.83E+06 4.52 3.3230/15 1.47 5.38E+06 3.76 1.315-HT: Serotonin; DA: Dopamine; EP: Epinephrine; NE: Norepinephrine; NMS: N-methylserotonin; RT: Retention time.

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chromatograms of monoamines run under the mobile-phase conditions used in Figure 2D at different temperatures. In general, as tempera-ture increased, the resolution between peaks decreased. At 40°C, there is loss of resolution between DA and EP and at 60°C, baseline sepa-ration has clearly been lost. Interestingly, when the column was cooled to 20°C, there was a significant loss of peak shape for NMS. As this figure clearly shows, 30°C provided the optimum balance of speed, resolution and peak shape for all analytes. Experiments looking at the effect of temperature on retention in HILIC show a vari-ety of results that can be highly dependent upon the stationary phase. Many combinations of col-umns and analytes showed increases in retention in response to temperature increases. However, this may be due to enhanced ion-exchange inter-actions between the analytes and the stationary phase at elevated temperatures [31]. By contrast, columns with neutral active sites, including amide phases, have shown the more classical result of decreasing retention with increasing temperature [31,33,34]. The combination of the amide function-ality, along with the high ionic strength of the mobile phase could serve to reduce ion-exchange interactions with the stationary phase leading to the results seen in this study.

� Comparison with RPLCEarly experiments using RPLC proved quite challenging. We found that both NE and EP demonstrated very poor retention on the XBridge C

18 column and were barely separated. In fact,

NE was essentially unretained by RPLC. Similar results had been seen with other attempts to sepa-rate EP and NE under reversed-phase conditions [21,23]. Adequate retention is critical, as unre-tained peaks can be subject to ion suppression from other components in a complex matrix (i.e., salts) that also elute in the void volume. We also attempted traditional reversed-phase analysis on a Waters Atlantis T3 column (see ‘Methods’) as this column was designed specifically to retain polar compounds and for use with high-aque-ous mobile phases. The Atlantis T3 column did appear to improve the retention of NE and EP, but we were unable to achieve consistent and acceptable peak shapes for NE.

In an attempt to achieve a successful reversed-phase separation of these analytes, we investi-gated the use of ion-pairing reagents on the XBridge C

18 column (2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75mm)

and on the Atlantis T3 column (3.0 µm; 2.1 × 100 mm). Both NFPA and HFBA are

volatile ion pairing reagents that are compat-ible with MS. Each was added to the MPA and MPB at a concentration of 0.01%. Figures 7a & 7b show monoamine chromatography with NFPA and HFBA, respectively, on the XBridge C

18 column. While the use of ion pairing rea-

gents improves the retention of all of the ana-lytes, certain challenges remain. When using NFPA (Figure 7a) there is no separation of 5-HT and NMS. The use of HFBA, on the other hand, improves the separation of NMA and 5-HT, although they are still not baseline separated. However, DA (peak 3) is split and elutes as two peaks. This phenomenon has been seen with monoamines and sympathomimetic drugs before [35] and may be due to formation of ion-pairs between HFBA and DA in the mobile phase as well as on the stationary phase [35,36]. Finally, NE and EP are not baseline resolved.

One important consideration when develop-ing chromatographic methods, is the limitation

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Figure 3. Effects of modifying the aqueous content of mobile phase B alone on monoamine chromatography. The proportions of acetonitrile and water in mobile phase B are (A) 95:5; (B) 90:10; and, (C) 85:15. Mobile phase B contained 10 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Mobile phase A consisted of 95:5 water:acetonitrile containing 100 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Column temperature was 30 oC. Column: Waters bridged ethylene hybrid amide 2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm. Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine. Vertical axes are linked for comparison of signal intensity.

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that system back pressure places upon method development. System pressures under the HILIC conditions, described above, ranged from 1900 to 2900 psi over the course of the gradient at a flow rate of 0.5 ml/min. Under the reversed-phase conditions described, using a column of matched dimensions, back pressures ranged from 4900 to 7000 psi over the course of the entire gradient. Traditional HPLC sys-tems, limited to 4000–6000 psi, would already be challenged by the back pressures observed for the reversed-phase conditions, limiting the ability to use longer columns and/or reduced particle sizes. By contrast, the lower back pres-sures observed under the HILIC conditions in this study would allow the use of even higher flow rates to further reduce analysis time or longer columns to increase separation efficiency. This could allow a single, validated method to be used on multiple-instrumentation platforms if desired. By extension, the use of systems with the advantages of elevated pressure tolerances would allow even greater flexibility in flow rate and column selection.

ConclusionThis manuscript details the development of HILIC chromatography for the analy-sis of monoamine neurotransmitters using a 2.5 µm particle HILIC column containing an amide-bonded hybrid-stationary phase. Through the careful balancing of mobile phase ionic strength and solubility, we were able to dramati-cally improve the chromatographic performance

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Figure 4. Effects of modifying the ionic strength of mobile phase B alone on monoamine chromatography. The molarity of ammonium formate (pH 3.0) in mobile phase B is in (A) 10 mM; (B) 20 mM; and, (C) 30 mM. Mobile phase B consisted of 85:15 acetonitrile:water with either 10, 20 or 30 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Mobile phase A consisted of 95:5 water:acetonitrile containing 100 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Column temperature was 30°C. Column: Waters bridged ethylene hybrid amide 2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm. Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine. Vertical axes are linked for comparison of signal intensity.

Table 6. Peak properties resulting from changes in mobile phase B aqueous content alone.

Aqueous content (%)

RT (min)

Peak height

Width (s)

Tailing (b/a)

NMS

5 1.62 1.66E+07 2.43 1.3810 1.08 9.44E+07 4.05 1.5315 0.75 4.71E+07 5.28 1.87

5-HT

5 1.81 6.93E+06 2.42 1.310 1.28 2.85E+07 3.16 1.3415 0.89 1.40E+07 4.98 1.54

DA

5 2 2.76E+06 6.26 6.8410 1.5 7.79E+06 7.65 3.9515 1.07 5.29E+06 12.28 3.44

EP

5 2.09 9.49E+06 8.64 6.3310 1.59 3.04E+07 10.75 7.0315 1.16 2.05E+07 15.71 4.94

NE

5 2.34 2.65E+06 10.25 8.3610 1.84 2.65E+06 8.79 4.8615 1.38 2.38E+06 13.68 6.945-HT: Serotonin; DA: Dopamine; EP: Epinephrine; NE: Norepinephrine; NMS: N-methylserotonin; RT: Retention time.

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of the most polar compounds. The superior per-formance of the amide-bonded stationary phase demonstrates the importance of stationary phase choice considerations during HILIC method development. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of an amide-linked stationary phase being used for monoamine analysis. This work also demonstrates the utility and promise of using HILIC chromatography for the analy-sis of monoamine neurotransmitters. Retention, separation and resolution of even the most polar compounds (EP and NE) were achieved in an analysis time of 4 min. The intermediate length of the column (75 mm) combined with the rela-tively low back pressures characteristic of HILIC analysis can allow future investigators to improve separation, reduce analysis time, or, if desired, both. The low back pressures also allow flexibility to use the developed method on multiple instru-mentation platforms if necessary. Going forward, the increased availability of novel HILIC phases, particle sizes and column options should provide additional options for the analysis of compounds, which can be quite challenging by conventional RPLC methodology.

Future perspectiveThe choice of HILIC for the analysis of polar compounds is becoming increasingly popular in the bioanalytical laboratory. The data provided here demonstrates that HILIC can be an impor-tant choice for the most polar compounds, providing an important complement to

reversed-phase analysis. As more particle chem-istries and column options become available, the potential of HILIC to solve more of these analytical problems should also increase, pro-viding a tool to fill this analytical space.

1

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Figure 5. Comparison of monoamine chromatography. Produced using (A) Waters XBridge™ Amide and (B) XBridge HILIC columns. Mobile phase A consisted of 95:5 water:acetonitrile containing 100 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Mobile phase B consisted of 85:15 water:acetonitrile containing 30 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Column temperature was 30°C. Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine. Vertical axes are linked for comparison of signal intensity.

Table 7. Peak properties resulting from changes in mobile phase B molarity alone.

Molarity (mM) RT (min) Peak height Width (s) Tailing (b/a)

NMS

5 0.75 4.71E+07 5.28 1.8710 0.73 4.57E+07 5.15 1.7815 0.72 5.11E+07 2.34 1.66

5-HT

5 0.89 1.40E+07 4.98 1.5410 0.88 1.33E+07 5.12 1.4015 0.86 1.08E+07 3.65 1.48

DA

5 1.07 5.29E+06 12.28 3.4410 1.08 6.27E+06 6.97 2.7315 1.11 7.53E+06 4.22 1.66

EP

5 1.16 2.05E+07 15.71 4.9410 1.18 2.61E+07 9.28 3.6515 1.22 2.80E+07 5.07 2.34

NE

5 1.38 2.38E+06 13.68 6.9410 1.43 2.69E+06 7.92 2.8015 1.47 5.38E+06 3.76 1.315-HT: Serotonin; DA: Dopamine; EP: Epinephrine; NE: Norepinephrine; NMS: N-methylserotonin; RT: Retention time.

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Executive summary

Background

� Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) has recently become a very effective complementary tool to reversed-phase chromatography for the analysis of polar compounds. This manuscript details the development of HILIC conditions for the analysis of monoamines on a 2.5 µm bridged ethylene hybrid column, bonded with an amide functionality.

Results

� The careful optimization of mobile-phase composition is shown to be critical for achieving excellent chromatographic performance for monoamines, especially dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Increasing the ionic strength of the organic mobile phase resulted in dramatic chromatographic improvements for the most polar compounds. Increases in ionic strength, however, need to be balanced against solution miscibility in high organic mobile phases. Column functionality is also shown to be a critical factor to consider during HILIC method development.

Conclusion

� The increased availability of different HILIC stationary phases and particle sizes will provide more options for the analysis of polar compounds and provides a key complementary method to reversed-phase analysis.

Per

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50

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1.60 1.80 2.00 2.200.60 0.80 1.00 1.20 1.40

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Figure 6. Effect of changes in column temperature on monoamine chromatography. Temperatures were: (A) 20°C; (B) 30°C; (C) 40°C; (D) 50°C; and, (E) 60°C. Mobile phase A consisted of 95:5 water:acetonitrile containing 100 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Column: Waters XBridge™ amide (2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm). Mobile phase B consisted of 85:15 water:acetonitrile containing 30 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0). Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine. Vertical axes are linked for comparison of signal intensity.

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Bioanalysis (2012) 4(7)792 future science group

0.0 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.00 2.25 2.50 2.75 3.000

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Figure 7. Reversed-phase chromatography of monoamines. Ion pairing reagents are (A) nonafluoropentanoic acid and (B) heptafluorobutyric acid. Mobile phase compositions and the gradient profile are detailed in ‘Methods’. Column temperature was 30°C. Column: Waters XBridge™ C18 (2.5 µm; 2.1 × 75 mm).Analyte key: 1: N-methylserotonin; 2: serotonin; 3: dopamine; 4: epinephrine; 5: norepinephrine.

Financial & competing interests disclosureAll authors are employees of Waters Technologies Corporation (MA, USA). The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. This includes employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock owner-ship or options, expert t estimony, grants or patents received or pending, or royalties.

No writing assistance was utilized in the produc-tion of this manuscript.

ReferencesPapers of special note have been highlighted as:� of interest�� of considerable interest

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2 Jian W, Edom RW, Xu Y, Weng N. Recent advances in application of hydrophilic

interaction chromatography for quantitative bioanalysis. J. Sep. Sci. 33(6–7), 681–697 (2010).

3 Xu RN, Rieser MJ, El-Shourbagy TA. Bioanalytical hydrophilic interaction chromatography: recent challenges, solutions and applications. Bioanalysis 1(1), 239–253 (2009).

� Review of hydrophilic interaction chromatography as applied to bioanalytical applications.

4 Jian W, Xu Y, Edom RW, Weng N. Analysis of polar metabolites by hydrophilic interaction chromatography–MS/MS. Bioanalysis 3(8), 899–912 (2011).

5 Hemström P, Irgum K. Hydrophilic interaction chromatography. J. Sep. Sci. 29(12), 1784–1821 (2006).

�� A comprehensive and thorough review of hydrophilic interaction chromatography mechanisms.

6 Walter TH, Iraneta P, Capparella M. Mechanism of retention loss when C

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HPLC columns are used with highly aqueous

mobile phases. J. Chromatog. A 1075(1–2), 177–183 (2005).

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9 Taylor R, Reid R, Kendle K, Geddes C, Curle P. Assay procedures for the determination of biogenic amines and their metabolites in rat hypothalamus using ion-pairing reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. J. Chromatogr. 277, 101–114 (1983).

10 Flieger J. Application of perfluorinated acids as ion-pairing reagents for reversed-phase chromatography and retention-hydrophobicity relationships studies of selected b-blockers. J. Chromatog. A. 1217(4), 540–549 (2010).

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11 González RR, Fernández RF, Vidal JLM, Frenich AG, Pérez mlG. Development and validation of an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass-spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) method for the simultaneous determination of neurotransmitters in rat brain samples. J. Neurosci. Methods 198(2), 187–194 (2011).

12 Grumbach ES, Diehl DM, Neue UD. The application of novel 1.7 µm ethylene bridged hybrid particles for hydrophilic interaction chromatography. J. Sep. Sci. 31(9), 1511–1518 (2008).

13 King R, Bonfiglio R, Fernandez-Metzler C, Miller-Stein C, Olah T. Mechanistic investigation of ionization suppression in electrospray ionization. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 11(11), 942–950 (2000).

14 Matuszewski BK, Constanzer ml, Chavez-Eng CM. Strategies for the assessment of matrix effect in quantitative bioanalytical methods based on HPLC−MS/MS. Anal. Chem. 75(13), 3019–3030 (2003).

15 Mellon SH, Griffin LD. Neurosteroids: biochemistry and clinical significance. Trends Endocrinol. Metab. 13(1), 35–43 (2002).

16 Schumacher M, Weill-Engerer S, Liere P et al. Steroid hormones and neurosteroids in normal and pathological aging of the nervous system. Prog. Neurobiol. 71(1), 3–29 (2003).

17 Shah AJ, Crespi F, Heidbreder C. Amino acid neurotransmitters: separation approaches and diagnostic value. J. Chromatog. B 781(1–2), 151–163 (2002).

18 Hill SL, Thomas SHL. Clinical toxicology of newer recreational drugs. Clin. Toxicol. 49(8), 705–719 (2011).

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and metabolites using liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry and comparison with liquid chromatography/electrochemical detection. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 21(23), 3898–3904 (2007).

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23 Hows MEP, Lacroix L, Heidbreder C, Organ AJ, Shah AJ. High-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometric assay for the simultaneous measurement of dopamine, norepinephrine, 5-hydroxytryptamine and cocaine in biological samples. J. Neuro. Meth. 138(1–2), 123–132 (2004).

24 Kauppila TJ, Nikkola T, Ketola RA, Kostiainen R. Atmospheric pressure photoionization-mass spectrometry and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry of neurotransmitters. J. Mass Spectrom. 41(6), 781–789 (2006).

25 Zhang X, Rauch A, Lee H, Xiao H, Rainer G, Logothetis NK. Capillary hydrophilic interaction chromatography/mass spectrometry for simultaneous determination of multiple neurotransmitters in primate cerebral cortex. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 21(22), 3621–3628 (2007).

26 El-Beqqali A, Kussak A, Abdel-Rehim M. Determination of dopamine and serotonin in human urine samples utilizing microextraction online with liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. J. Sep. Sci. 30(3), 421–424 (2007).

27 Mccalley DV, Neue UD. Estimation of the extent of the water-rich layer associated with the silica surface in hydrophilic interaction chromatography. J. Chromatog. A 1192(2), 225–229 (2008).

� A study of the precise role of the proposed water-rich layer in hydrophilic interaction chromatography.

28 Alpert AJ. Hydrophilic-interaction chromatography for the separation of peptides, nucleic acids and other polar compounds. J. Chromatog. A 499(0), 177–196 (1990).

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33 Guo Y, Gaiki S. Retention behavior of small polar compounds on polar stationary phases in hydrophilic interaction chromatography. J. Chromatog. A 1074(1–2), 71–80 (2005).

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Bioanalysis (2012) 4(7)794 future science group

Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) for … interaction chromatography (HILIC) ... conditions has been the use of ion-pairing ... Conclusion: HILIC is shown to be ... - [PDF Document] (2024)

FAQs

How does hydrophilic interaction chromatography work? ›

Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) is a separation technique in which the analytes interact with a hydrophilic stationary phase in the column. As a variant of NP LC, it is useful for separating many analytes that are very hydrophilic or polar and would be retained only minimally during RP LC.

What is HILIC chromatography? ›

HILIC is traditionally understood as the partition process between the aqueous layer accumulated close to the solid surface and a bulk mobile phase containing high concentrations (usually more than 60%) of a polar organic solvent in water (Alpert, 1990).

What is Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography HILIC )- a powerful separation technique? ›

Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) is a variant of normal phase liquid chromatography provides that partly overlaps with other chromatographic applications such as ion chromatography and reverse phase liquid chromatography a way to separate small polar compounds on polar stationary phases effectively ...

What is are the advantages of HILIC when compared to rp HPLC? ›

There are many advantages of HILIC over other kinds of chromatography. These include: Using it instead of reversed-phase chromatography when analytes are not being retained on a column. Overcoming solubility issues that happen with normal chromatography due to the polar nature of the technique.

When to use HIC chromatography? ›

Hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) is a valuable tool used in protein purification applications. HIC is used in the purification of proteins over a broad range of scales-in both analytical and preparatory scale applications.

What is the difference between normal phase and HILIC? ›

HILIC is a variation of normal phase chromatography. The major differences between HILIC and NP are the composite of the mobile phase and the mechanism of separation. Common NP chromatography uses 100 % organic mobile phases while HILIC uses organic mobile phases that are water miscible.

What is a hydrophilic interaction? ›

Flexi Says: Hydrophilic interaction refers to the attraction between water molecules and other polar molecules or ions. This interaction is due to the polarity of water and the other substance, which allows them to form hydrogen bonds or dipole-dipole interactions. Hydrophilic substances tend to dissolve well in water.

What are the conditions for HILIC column storage? ›

A suitable wash solution is 60% organic solvent in water (unless otherwise specificed in product manuals). HILIC columns should be stored under HILIC conditions. A mixture of organic solvent and water in a 90:10 ratio is recommended for storage.

How does anion exchange chromatography work? ›

Anion exchange chromatography is a form of ion exchange chromatography (IEX), which is used to separate molecules based on their net surface charge. Anion exchange chromatography, more specifically, uses a positively charged ion exchange resin with an affinity for molecules having net negative surface charges.

What is the solvent for HILIC? ›

HILIC can be described as a variation of reversed phase chromatography performed using a polar stationary phase. The mobile phase employed is highly organic in nature (> 60-70% solvent, typically acetonitrile) containing a small percentage of aqueous solvent/buffer or other polar solvent.

What is the separation mechanism in HILIC? ›

The principle of HILIC is based on passing a mostly hydrophobic (organic) mobile phase over a hydrophilic stationary phase. Pre-wetting the column forms a water layer around the stationary phase and the separation is based on hydrophilic compounds partitioning into this water layer (Fig. 1 ).

What are the additives in HILIC? ›

Additives. Ionic additives, such as ammonium acetate and ammonium formate, are usually used to control the mobile phase pH and ion strength. In HILIC they can also contribute to the polarity of the analyte, resulting in differential changes in retention.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of high performance liquid chromatography HPLC? ›

High-performance liquid chromatography offers a quick and precise quantitative analysis. HPLC can be an expensive method, it requires a large number of expensive organics, needs a power supply, and regular maintenance is required. It can be complicated to troubleshoot problems or develop new methods.

What is the difference between HILIC and reverse phase chromatography? ›

RPLC columns use mostly nonpolar stationary phases (C18, C8, and so forth) while HILIC columns use polar phases (silica, amide, and so forth). Mobile phases for both techniques are often comprised of acetonitrile and water, which allows the flexibility to easily switch between the two LC modes.

What is an example of a hydrophilic mobile phase? ›

A typical mobile phase for HILIC includes water-miscible polar organic solvents such as acetonitrile, acetone, isopropanol, and methanol. Polar compounds are retained on a HILIC column when a mobile phase with a high percentage of volatile organic phase is applied.

How does hydrophobic interaction column chromatography work? ›

HIC is typically a chromatographic separation technique and separates molecules according to differences in their surface hydrophobicity. The method is based on the interactions between the nonpolar groups on hydrophobic column resin and hydrophobic surfaces.

How do hydrophobic interactions work? ›

Due to hydrophobic interactions, the solutes are attracted to approaching each other. This decreases the distance between the solutes, and the water molecules in the region between them are expelled into bulk water.

Which phase of chromatography is hydrophilic? ›

Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) is a liquid chromatography (LC) technique that uses a polar stationary phase (for example, silica or a polar bonded phase) in conjunction with a mobile phase containing an appreciable quantity of water (usually at least 2.5% by volume) combined with a higher proportion of ...

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