Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 18, pp 5901–5914

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of poly(amidoamine) dendrimers in an aqueous matrix by liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization-hybrid quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-QTOF-MS)

  • A. Uclés
  • M. M. Ulaszewska
  • M. D. Hernando
  • M. J. Ramos
  • S. Herrera
  • E. García
  • A. R. Fernández-Alba
Original Paper


This work introduces a liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization-hybrid quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-QTOF-MS)-based method for qualitative and quantitative analysis of poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers of generations 0 to 3 in an aqueous matrix. The multiple charging of PAMAM dendrimers generated by means of ESI has provided key advantages in dendrimer identification by assignation of charge state through high resolution of isotopic clusters. Isotopic distribution in function of abundance of isotopes 12C and 13C yielded valuable and complementarity data for confident characterization. A mass accuracy below 3.8 ppm for the most abundant isotopes (diagnostic ions) provided unambiguous identification of PAMAM dendrimers. Validation of the LC-ESI-QTOF-MS method and matrix effect evaluation enabled reliable and reproducible quantification. The validation parameters, limits of quantification in the range of 0.012 to 1.73 μM, depending on the generation, good linear range (R > 0.996), repeatability (RSD < 13.4 %), and reproducibility (RSD < 10.9 %) demonstrated the suitability of the method for the quantification of dendrimers in aqueous matrices (water and wastewater). The added selectivity, achieved by multicharge phenomena, represents a clear advantage in screening aqueous mixtures due to the fact that the matrix had no significant effect on ionization, with what is evidenced by an absence of sensitivity loss in most generations of PAMAM dendrimers.

Liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization-hybrid quadrupole/time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-QTOF-MS) based method for qualitative and quantitative analysis of PAMAM dendrimers in aqueous matrix


PAMAM dendrimers Aqueous matrices Electrospray ionization Multicharged ions LC-ESI-QTOF-MS Quantification 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Uclés
    • 1
  • M. M. Ulaszewska
    • 2
  • M. D. Hernando
    • 3
  • M. J. Ramos
    • 2
    • 4
  • S. Herrera
    • 2
  • E. García
    • 2
  • A. R. Fernández-Alba
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Pesticide Residue Research Group, Department of Hydrogeology and Analytical ChemistryUniversity of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  2. 2.IMDEA-Water (Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados-Agua), Parque Científico TecnológicoUniversity of AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  3. 3.National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology-INIAMadridSpain
  4. 4.Department of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringUniversity of AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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