The Analyst

Glucuronide directed molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction: isolation of testosterone glucuronide from its parent drug in urine.

PMID 22034618


Two molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) that we recently described to be class-selective for glucuronides have been successfully exploited for the molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction (MISPE) of testosterone glucuronide (TG) from its parent drug (T) in urine. Both sorbents targeted the glucuronate fragment but feature different functional groups for binding the carboxylate anion, MIP1, a neutral 1,3-diarylurea group, and MIP2, a cationic imidazolium functionality. MISPE-HPLC-UV methods developed using both sorbents allowed the extraction of TG from its parent compound in urine samples spiked at 150, 300 or 600 ng mL(-1) for TG and at 50 ng mL(-1) for T. By comparing the performance of the two sorbents it came out that MIP1 is a more suitable SPE packing than MIP2, since it isolated the glucuronide with a higher precision (RSD 2-5%, n = 3) and with an enhanced enrichment factor (EF = 4.2). On the basis of these results, the imprinted receptor MIP1 can be applied for the direct extraction of TG in doping and clinical analysis and to selectively capture any other relevant glucuronated metabolite avoiding tedious deconjugation steps prior to quantification.