Evaluation of stir-bar sorptive extraction coupled with thermal desorption GC–MS for the detection of leachables from polymer single use systems to drugs

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Abstract

Stir-bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE) in combination with thermal desorption and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC–MS) is widely accepted as the gold–standard analysis method for trace amounts of organic substances, including leachables in aqueous matrices. Meanwhile, as far as pharmaceutical quality control in protein-based parenteral drugs is concerned, the use of SBSE analysis remains unexplored. Previous studies reported a strong influence of the matrix on the method's recovery. The scope of the present work was to fill in the unexplored territory in a threefold manner 1) by quantifying the effects that various matrices commonly found in pharmaceutical processing have on the recovery, 2) by comparing between different coating materials for stir bar (namely between polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) material and ethylene-glycol (EG)-PDMS), and 3) by proposing a preparation step for stir-bar to mitigate inhibitory effects. The current study shows no inhibition of SBSE by protein matrices (p > 0.15). Further the influence of various drug matrices on the recovery of leachables with a log Ko/w ≥ 3.6 is negligible (−3.9 to 3.8%). In contrast, the inhibition effect caused by an alkaline media led to a recovery decrease of −42.9%. For leachables with a log Ko/w < 3.6, the relative recovery in the presence of various proteins ranged from −72.8% to 15.6%, depending on the excipients of the drug product and not on the protein itself. The highest loss in sensitivity was observed when the excipient benzyl alcohol was present in the drug. Nonetheless, the limit of detection for the tested leachables in the inhibitory matrices was still below 3 μg/L (ppb). Additionally, SBSE was observed to be quantitatively reliable in all tested drug matrices for concentrations from 0.005 to 0.1 mg/mL (r2 > 0.992). On average, the conventional PDMS coating resulted in a 28-fold higher signal-to-noise ratio compared to EG-PDMS. Furthermore, a broader range of leachables was detectable with the PDSM coating. Preceding stir-bar preparation consisting of a simple soaking step improved the enrichment by 14%, effectively lowering the limit of detection.

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