A semiquantitative OPLC purity test has been developed for inprocess control of nandrolone and compared with other chromatographic methods. TLC was not sufficiently selective, a key impurity with low UV absorption could not be detected by HPLC, and nandrolone was slightly degraded during gas chromatography. OPLC proved to be a suitable means of testing for all potential impurities in nandrolone. The separation was performed by multiple development on fine-particle silica gel with cyclohexane-ethyl acetate-chloroform, 50 + 25 + 25 (
), as mobile phase. After spraying the chromatograms with sulfuric acid, then heating, the impurities could be sensitively detected by visual inspection in long-wave UV light. Detection limits were ≤0.01 μg.
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