Preparation of a reserpine certified reference material for calibration and analysis of liquid chromatography

  • Jinyan Zhou
  • Yanjie HuangEmail author
  • Ling Chen
  • Junbin Xu
  • Keng Lin
  • Yuanwen Mao
  • Qiang Yin
General Paper


A certified reference material (CRM) for reserpine was investigated by raw material purification, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, homogeneity testing, stability testing, characterization, and uncertainty evaluation. The candidate reference material was prepared by recrystallization of purchased reserpine. After purification and drying, the candidate materials were enclosed in brown glass bottles. The chemical composition of the candidate reserpine reference material was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance. The homogeneity and stability of several sample bottles of the candidates were studied by stratified random sampling. With the cooperation of eight qualified laboratories, the purity of reserpine was analyzed by a mass balance method (including area normalization, water content, ash content and residual solvent analyses by liquid chromatography) with a certified purity mass fraction of 99.3 % and an expanded uncertainty of 0.5 % (k = 2). This reference material has been identified as a Chinese national-grade secondary CRM, which is numbered GBW(E) 090901, and is expected to be used in the calibration of instruments such as those used for liquid chromatography or method evaluations in food, medicine, environmental, and cosmetic analyses.


Reserpine Reference material Purity Uncertainty Mass balance 

List of symbols


Liquid chromatography


Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry


Certified reference materials


Reference materials


LC with photodiode array detection


Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Gas chromatography


Ion chromatograph


Potassium bromide


Deuterated triglycine sulfate




Spectral database for organic compounds


Intergroup degrees of freedom


Intragroup degrees of freedom


Significance level

\(F_{\alpha } (\nu_{1} ,\nu_{2} )\)

Critical value of F with \(\nu_{1}\) and \(\nu_{2}\)


Square of the intergroup


Square of the intragroup


SD square of the intergroup


SD square of the intragroup


Slope of the fitting curve of the stability data

\(t_{0.95,n - 2}\)

t Factor with a 95 % confidence level, a degree of n − 2

\(s(b_{1} )\)

Standard deviation of b1


Outlier with the maximum residual


Average value of eight laboratories


Standard deviation of the average value

\(G(\alpha ,n)\)

Grubbs threshold associated with the significance level and repeated observation


Cochran’s factor

\(s_{\rm max}\)

Max of \(s_{i}\)


Standard deviation


Critical Cochran’s factor


Average purity determined by LC in eight laboratories

\(\sum {c_{i} }\)

Total content of common inorganic elements (μg/L)

\(\sum {w_{i} }\)

Total mass percentage of common inorganic elements (%)


Mass of the sample, 10 mg in the test


Volume of the sample, 10 mL in the test


Final purity


Standard deviation of the intergroup by eight laboratories


Standard deviation of the intragroup by eight laboratories


Mean square of the intergroup


Mean square of the intragroup


Number of tests


Number of laboratories


Uncertainty of eight laboratories’ collaborative characterization with LC



The authors acknowledge the support from the Technical Project of Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision (2013ZJ02, 2016CJ03, 2018ZJ02), the Technical Project of Guangdong Science and Technology Department (2017A040405034) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Grant 21204001. The valuable suggestion from Dr. Yan Guan at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, is sincerely appreciated.

Supplementary material

769_2019_1412_MOESM1_ESM.docx (173 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 172 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinyan Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanjie Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ling Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junbin Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Keng Lin
    • 1
  • Yuanwen Mao
    • 1
  • Qiang Yin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Institute of MetrologySouth China National Centre of MetrologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Modern Geometric and Mechanical Metrology TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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