Applications of chiral chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry in the analysis of chiral pharmaceuticals in the environment

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The aim of this paper is to introduce the subject of chirality within pharmaceuticals and its implications in environmental contamination. The paper describes contemporary techniques and stationary phases in the analysis of chiral pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs, the main focus being on liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. A critical review of the methods employed including sample collection, preparation and analysis is undertaken. Special attention is paid to the possible analytical pitfalls of
chromatographic separations at enantiomeric level, which could potentially lead to erroneous measurements of enantiomers. Several applications of chiral analysis and results gained in the field are also discussed. Among them are: (i) study of fate and effects of chiral pharmaceuticals in the environment and during wastewater treatment, (ii) estimation of community-wide drugs use via newly
emerging field of sewage epidemiology and (iii) usage of chiral drugs as chemical markers of water contamination with sewage. The paper also aims to identify gaps within current knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e34-e51
Number of pages18
JournalTrends in Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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