Determination of monomeric composition in polyhydroxyalkanoates by liquid chromatography coupled with on-line mass spectrometry and off-line nuclear magnetic resonance.

PMID 26695241


Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are commercially-valuable biocompatible and biodegradable polymers with many potential medical, pharmaceutical and other industrial applications. The analysis of PHA monomeric composition is especially challenging due to the broad chemical diversity of PHA monomers and lack of analytical standards to represent the chemically-diverse PHA monomer constituents. In this study, a novel strategy based on on-line liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and off-line liquid chromatography-nuclear magnetic resonance (LC-NMR) was established to quantify seven PHA monomers with available standards and used to elucidate the structures of unknown PHA monomers. The strategy was successfully applied for the determination of monomeric composition in bacterial PHAs isolated from Pseudomonads cultivated on different carbon sources after hydrolysis. The results of this work demonstrated that the newly-developed strategy was efficient, repeatable, and could have good potential to be employed for detailed analysis of PHA monomeric composition.