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Analysis of Poly(Ethylene Glycol) In Various Matrices Using LCMS

2005 Pittsburgh Conference
Orlando, FL
February 27th – March 4th, 2005
J.T. Roy

John T. Roy, Impact Analytical
1910 W. St. Andrews Rd.
Midland, MI 48640


A new approach for the analysis of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) has been developed that utilizes liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) with electrospray ionization and an ion trap mass spectrometer. The approach has been used to detect this compound in several different matrices. This technique can be used for the direct analysis of PEG with different molecular weights that otherwise may be difficult to characterize by other procedures. Analysis of PEG by LC-MS has been used to support good laboratory studies that have required characterization. The LC-MS technique has also be used to monitor PEG in other matrices, such as ethoxylated alcohols and in sodium bicarbonate buffering media that is used for the culture of human normal and neoplastic leukocytes. Analyses of ethoxylated alcohols by LC-MS have led to better understanding performance issues that are related to the product

This LC-MS procedure provides spectral identification and molecular weight information that were previously difficult to obtain for PEG in various matrices. Additionally, the LC-MS procedure affords greater specificity for PEG than was previously obtained by gravimetric methods and by high performance liquid chromatographic methods with refractive index detection. The LC-MS analysis for PEG requires less sample preparation in comparison to previously used gas chromatography methods that require derivatization. The LC-MS procedure has proven to be an excellent qualitative tool for the analysis of PEG. The utility of the procedure for more detailed quantitation has also been investigated, and data that were obtained from these studies will be presented.


Keywords: Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, Ion Trap, Polymers and Plastics, Materials Characterization Application Code: Polymers and Plastics Methodology: Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

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