Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin

Spectrophotometric determination of paracetamol in urine with tetrahydroxycalix[4]arene as a coupling reagent and preconcentration with triton X-114 using cloud point extraction.

PMID 16755066


In the present paper, conventional spectrophotometry in conjunction with cloud point extraction-preconcentration were investigated as alternative methods for paracetamol (PCT) assay in urine samples. Cloud point extraction (CPE) was employed for the preconcentration of p-aminophenol (PAP) prior to spectrophotometric determination using the non-ionic surfactant Triton X-114 (TX-114) as an extractant. The developed methods were based on acidic hydrolysis of PCT to PAP, which reacted at room temperature with 25,26,27,28-tetrahydroxycalix[4]arene (CAL4) in the presence of an oxidant (KIO(4)) to form an blue colored product. The PAP-CAL4 blue dye formed was subsequently entrapped in the surfactant micelles of Triton X-114. Cloud point phase separation with the aid of Triton X-114 induced by addition of Na(2)SO(4) solution was performed at room temperature as an advantage over other CPE assays requiring elevated temperatures. The 580 nm-absorbance maximum of the formed product was shifted bathochromically to 590 nm with CPE. The working range of 1.5-12 microg ml(-1) achieved by conventional spectrophotometry was reduced down to 0.14-1.5 microg ml(-1) with cloud point extraction, which was lower than those of most literature flow-through assays that also suffer from nonspecific absorption in the UV region. By preconcentrating 10 ml sample solution, a detection limit as low as 40.0 ng ml(-1) was obtained after a single-step extraction, achieving a preconcentration factor of 10. The stoichiometric composition of the dye was found to be 1 : 4 (PAP : CAL4). The impact of a number of parameters such as concentrations of CAL4, KIO(4), Triton X-100 (TX-100), and TX-114, extraction temperature, time periods for incubation and centrifugation, and sample volume were investigated in detail. The determination of PAP in the presence of paracetamol in micellar systems under these conditions is limited. The established procedures were successfully adopted for the determination of PCT in urine samples. Since the drug is rapidly absorbed and excreted largely in urine and its high doses have been associated with lethal hepatic necrosis and renal failure, development of a rapid, sensitive and selective assay of PCT is of vital importance for fast urinary screening and antidote administration before applying more sophisticated, but costly and laborious hyphenated instrumental techniques of HPLC-SPE-NMR-MS.

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Paracetamol sulfate potassium salt, solid, ≥97% (HPLC)