Peer-Reviewed Publications

      Application of secondary electrospray ionization coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry in chemical characterization of thermally generated aerosols

      Zivkovic Semren, T.; Majeed, S.; Fatarova, M.; Laszlo, C.; Pak, C.; Steiner, S.; Vidal-de-Miguel, G.; Kuczaj, A.; Mazurov, A.; Peitsch, M. C.; Ivanov, N. V.; Julia Hoeng, J.; Guy, P. A.

      Oct 11, 2022

      Inhalation as a route for administering drugs and dietary supplements has garnered significant attention over the past decade. We performed real-time analyses of aerosols using secondary electrospray ionization (SESI) technology interfaced with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), primarily developed for exhaled breath analysis with the goal to detect the main aerosol constituents. Several commercially available inhalation devices containing caffeine, melatonin, cannabidiol, and vitamin B12 were tested. Chemical characterization of the aerosols produced by these devices enabled detection of the main constituents and screening for potential contaminants, byproducts, and impurities in the aerosol. In addition, a programmable syringe pump was connected to the SESI–HRMS system to monitor aerosolized active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) such as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin. This setup allowed us to detect caffeine, melatonin, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and cannabidiol in the produced aerosols. Azithromycin and vitamin B12 in the aerosols could not be detected; however, our instrument setup enabled the detection of vitamin B12 breakdown products that were generated during the aerosolization process. Positive control was realized by liquid chromatography-HRMS analyses. The compounds detected in the aerosol were confirmed by exact mass measurements of the protonated and/or deprotonated species, as well as their respective collision-induced dissociation tandem mass spectra. These results reveal the potential wide application of this technology for the real-time monitoring of aerosolized active pharmaceutical ingredients that can be administered through the inhalation route.