Separation and characterization of chemical constituents inGinkgo bilobaextract by off-line hydrophilic interaction × reversed-phase two-dimensional liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry
Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE), derived from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba L., is one of the most widely used traditional Chinese medicines worldwide. Due to high structural diversity and low abundance of chemical constituents in GBE, conventional reversed-phase liquid chromatography has limited power to meet the needs of its quality control. In this study, an off-line hydrophilic interaction × reversed-phase two-dimensional liquid chromatography (HILIC × RP 2D-LC) system coupled with diode array detection (DAD) and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (qTOF-MS) was established to comprehensively analyze the chemical constituents of GBE. After optimizing the chromatographic columns and mobile phase of 2D-LC, a Waters XBridge Amide column using acetonitrile/water/formic acid as the mobile phase was selected as the first dimension to fractionate GBE, and the obtained fractions were further separated on an Agilent Zorbax XDB-C18 column with methanol/water/formic acid as the mobile phase. As a result, a total of 125 compounds were detected in GBE. The orthogonality of the 2D-LC system was 69.5%, and the practical peak capacity was 3864 and 2994, respectively, calculated by two different methods. The structures of 104 compounds were tentatively characterized by qTOF-MS analysis, and 21 of them were further confirmed by comparing with reference standards. This established HILIC × RP 2D-LC-qTOF/MS system can greatly improve the separation and characterization of natural products in GBE or other complicated herbal extracts.