Interdisciplinary Application of Modern Trace Analysis to Biologically Active Substances

  • Hans Georg Leemann
  • Fritz Erni
  • Bernhard Schreiber
Conference paper


The power of detection and selectivity of modern analytical instruments are at present so high that trace analysis is used on a large scale in all areas of natural science.

By means of a few selected subjects, the possibilities and limitations of trace analysis characterization of biologically active substances are presented. Particular emphasis is laid on the preparation of samples, such as separation from the matrix, resolution of trace components and enrichment techniques. Selectivity and detection sensitivity are discussed, taking the determination of individual heavy metal trace elements in tissue as an example.

A closer look is taken at HPLC in the column switching mode combined with step gradient elution as one of the possibilities of separating trace organic compounds, in this case cyclosporin A, from an excess of other bio-organic material.

When physical chemical methods fail, the RIA test can be the method of choice as demonstrated in a methodological optimization process for a single dose migraine study with ergotamine.

What the trace analyst finds particularly interesting and attractive are the combination of methods. By means of an example, the yes-no presence of LSD in human blood, a multiple combination of RIA, HPLC and fluorescence spectroscopy shows how difficult analytical problems can be solved in an elegant manner by skillful, sequential combination of separation and measurement steps.

Also a review of the most recent technical literature is provided.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography High Performance Liquid Chromatography Trace Analysis Ergot Alkaloid Column Switching 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Georg Leemann
    • 1
  • Fritz Erni
    • 1
  • Bernhard Schreiber
    • 1
  1. 1.Analytical Research and Development, Pharmaceutical DivisionSANDOZ Ltd.BasleSwitzerland

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