Application of high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for analysis and quality control of Radix Astragali and its preparations.J Chromatogr A. 2009 Mar 13; 1216(11):2087-97.JC
A high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-TOF-MS) method has been developed for qualitative and quantitative analysis of isoflavonoids and saponins, as well as for the quality control of Radix Astragali and its preparations. The selectivity, reproducibility and sensitivity are compared with HPLC with diode array detection (DAD) and evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD). Limits of detection and quantification fell in ranges of 9-40 and 23-103 ng/mL for 13 analytes with a injection of 10 microL samples, and all calibration curves showed good linear regression (r(2)>0.9938) within the test range. The assay was successfully utilized to analyze the 13 marker components in 20 samples of Radix Astragali products. The quantitative results demonstrated that samples from different localities and manufacturers showed different quality. Advantages, in comparison with conventional HPLC-DAD-ELSD, are that reliable identification of target compounds could be achieved by accurate mass measurements (<3 ppm) along with characteristic retention time, extracted ions chromatograms using a narrow mass window for quantification ensure that the chromatographic peaks are free from background or co-elutes interference, and the great enhancement in selectivity and sensitivity allows identification and quantification of low levels of constituents in complex Radix Astragali matrixes.