, Volume 64, Issue 7–8, pp 423–427 | Cite as

TLC Determination of Aliphatic Polyamines on Calcium Sulfate Layers



Biogenic polyamines are sensitive markers for various diseases including cancer. Polyamines are difficult to analyze by chromatography due to their high polarity and water-solubility so that derivatization is an essential step for their chromatographic analysis. Earlier studies have shown the efficacy of calcium sulfate (CaSO4) as a TLC coating material for the separation of polar compounds. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of CaSO4 for the analysis of aliphatic polyamines without derivatization. The TLC of six polyamines (ornithine, citrulline, putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine) was carried out on CaSO4 and silica gel plates using 11 different mobile phases. The results showed that CaSO4 is superior to silica for the separation of underivatized polyamines. The development time of the CaSO4 plates was also about one-third shorter as compared to silica. Methanol was the only solvent to produce differential R F values for the polyamines studied. Ornithine (R F , 0–2) and citrulline (R F , 1–3) were separated from cadaverine (R F , 0.93), spermine (R F , 0.85) and spermidine (R F , 0.85). For quantitative analysis, the polyamines were eluted from the coating material scratched from the plate and the absorbance of the supernatant was measured at 550 nm. The limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were found to be 0.75 and 1.88 μg, respectively. The procedure was applied to the quantitative separation of polyamines in spiked human urine samples (12.5–50 μg). This is probably the first study reporting a TLC method for the separation of underivatized polyamines.


Thin layer chromatography Calcium sulfate layers Separation of polar compounds Biogenic polyamines 



This study was financially supported by a grant (project no. Bio/2005/02) form the Research Center, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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