Solid-phase ultraviolet sensing system for determination of methylxanthines

Lloren-Martínez, E. J.; García-Reyes, J. F.; Ortega-Barrales, P.; Molina-Díaz, A.
May 2005
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;May2005, Vol. 382 Issue 1, p158
Academic Journal
In this study the use of a single continuous-flow solid-phase UV spectrophotometric sensing system for determination of methylxanthines was evaluated. Two methods were developed to determine caffeine (CF) and theophylline (TP) in pharmaceuticals and CF and theobromine (TB) in food and beverages. The sensor is based on transient and sequential retention of the analytes on a hydrophobic sensing solid zone (octadecyl silane C18 gel) and detection of their intrinsic UV absorbance. Temporary sequencing of the arrival of the analytes at the sensing zone is achieved by on-line separation of one of the analytes using a pre-column of the same particulate material, placed just before the flow cell. After TB or TP had been carried toward the sensing zone (by the appropriate carrier solution), produced its transitory signal, and been eluted by the carrier, an appropriate eluting solution (25% MeOH) was used to elute CF, which was strongly retained on the minicolumn, so that its transient signal could be recorded. The sensing zone was completely regenerated with this eluting solution, and so was ready for analysis of another sample. After selecting the most suitable conditions, the sensing system was calibrated in the range 1-16 and 1-12 mg L-1 for CF and TP-TB, respectively, giving detection limits below 0.1 mg L-1 with RSD values less than 3%. The usefulness of this approach has been evaluated by applying it to the determination of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline in different samples of food, beverages, and pharmaceutical formulations. The results were in satisfactory agreement with those obtained by use of an HPLC reference method.


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