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  • Author or Editor: Bernd Spangenberg x
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In thin-layer chromatography the development step distributes the sample throughout the layer, a process which strongly affects the reflection signals. The essential requirement for quantitative thinlayer chromatography is not a constant sample concentration but constant sample distribution in each sample spot. This makes evaporation of the mobile phase extremely important, because all tracks of a TLC plate must be dried uniformly. This paper shows that quantitative TLC is possible even if the concentration of the sample is not constant throughout the layer or if the distribution of the sample is not known. With uniform sample distribution, classical Kubelka-Munk theory is valid for isotropic scattering only. In the absence of this constraint classical Kubelka-Munk theory must be extended to situations where scattering is asymmetric. This can be achieved by modification of the original Kubelka-Munk equation. Extended theory is presented which is not only capable of describing asymmetrical scattering in TLC layers but also includes a formula for absorption and fluorescence in diode-array TLC. With this new theory all different formulas for diode-array thin-layer chromatographic evaluation are combined in one expression.

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A new formula is presented for transforming fluorescence measurements in accordance with Kubelka-Munk theory. The fluorescence signals, the absorption signals, and data from a selected reference are combined in one expression. Only diode-array techniques can measure all the required data simultaneously to linearize fluorescence data correctly. To prove the new theory HPTLC quantification of the analgesic flupirtine was performed over the mass range 300 to 5000 ng per spot. The fluorescence calibration curve was linear over the whole range. The transformation of fluorescence measurements into linear mass-dependent data extends the technique of in-situ fluorescence analysis to the high concentration range. It also extends Kubelka-Munk theory from absorption to fluorescence analysis. The results presented also emphasize the importance of Kubelka-Munk theory for in-situ measurements in scattering media, especially in planar chromatography.

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Summary

We present a planar chromatographic separation method for the compounds caffeine, artemisinin, and equol, separated on high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) silica gel plates. As solvents for separation, methyl t-butyl ether and cyclohexane (1:1, V/V) have been used for equol, cyclohexane and ethyl acetate (7:3, V/V) for artemisinin, and ethyl acetate and acetone (7:3, V/V) for caffeine. After separation, the plate was scanned with a very specific time of flight-direct analysis in real time-mass spectrometry (TOF-DART-MS) system using the (M + 1)+ signals of equol, artemisinin, and caffeine. The (M + 1) peak of artemisinin at 283.13 m/z is clearly detectable, which is the proof that DART-MS is applicable for the quantitative determination of rather instable molecules. The planar set-up of DART source, HPTLC plate and detector inlet in a line showed higher sensitivities compared to desorption at an angle. The optimal detector voltage increases with the molar mass of the analyte, thus an individual determination of optimal detector voltage setting for the different analyte is recommended to achieve the best possible measurement conditions. In conclusion, DART-MS detection in combination with an HPTLC separation allows very specific quantification of all three compounds.

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