A flow injection configuration is proposed for the determination of L-cysteine and L-cystine individually and for mixtures of both analytes. The procedure is based on the rapid oxidation of L-cysteine by thallium(III) with concomitant formation of fluorescent thallium(I). The inclusion of a selecting valve and of a copper-coated cadmium column in the configuration allows the successive determination of two analytes. Linear calibration graphs were obtained between 5 x 10(-6) and 5 x 10(-5) mol dm-3 of L-cysteine and between 2 x 10(-6) and 2 x 10(-5) mol dm-3 of L-cystine. The applicability of the method to the determination of L-cysteine and L-cystine in pharmaceutical preparations was demonstrated by investigating the effect of potential interferents and by the analysis of commercial preparations. The method was successfully applied to the determination of L-cysteine and L-cystine in urine samples.
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