Analysis of free drug fractions in human serum by ultrafast affinity extraction and two-dimensional affinity chromatography

Xiwei Zheng, Maria Podariu, Ryan Matsuda, David S. Hage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ultrafast affinity extraction and a two-dimensional high performance affinity chromatographic system were used to measure the free fractions for various drugs in serum and at typical therapeutic concentrations. Pooled samples of normal serum or serum from diabetic patients were utilized in this work. Several drug models (i.e., quinidine, diazepam, gliclazide, tolbutamide, and acetohexamide) were examined that represented a relatively wide range of therapeutic concentrations and affinities for human serum albumin (HSA). The two-dimensional system consisted of an HSA microcolumn for the extraction of a free drug fraction, followed by a larger HSA analytical column for the further separation and measurement of this fraction. Factors that were optimized in this method included the flow rates, column sizes, and column switching times that were employed. The final extraction times used for isolating the free drug fractions were 333-665 ms or less. The dissociation rate constants for several of the drugs with soluble HSA were measured during system optimization, giving results that agreed with reference values. In the final system, free drug fractions in the range of 0.7-9.5 % were measured and gave good agreement with values that were determined by ultrafiltration. Association equilibrium constants or global affinities were also estimated by this approach for the drugs with soluble HSA. The results for the two-dimensional system were obtained in 5-10 min or less and required only 1-5 μL of serum per injection. The same approach could be adapted for work with other drugs and proteins in clinical samples or for biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Affinity microcolumn
  • Drug-protein binding
  • Free drug fraction
  • Human serum albumin
  • Two-dimensional affinity chromatography
  • Ultrafast affinity extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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