Background: Formaldehyde is a key intermediate/reagent in the synthesis of many significant
pharmaceutical compounds. It is genotoxic as it interacts with the DNA, RNA and hence there is a
pressing need to develop sensitive analytical methods for its trace level determination.
Objective: The present study aims to develop a simple and robust Ultra-High-Performance Liquid
Chromatographic (UHPLC) method for the trace level quantification of a carcinogen-formaldehyde, in
pharmaceutical drug substance.
Methods: This method was developed on a conventional pre-column derivatization technique with
brady’s reagent followed by fast analysis on fused core C18 Ascentis Express (150 × 4.6 mm, 2.7 μm)
column using ultraviolet (UV) detection. Optimization of the derivatization reaction time was conducted
in different pH conditions. The optimized analytical method was fully validated in accordance with
the current International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Q2 guidelines, which demonstrated the
developed method to be fast, specific, linear, sensitive, repeatable, accurate and convenient for routine
Results: The developed method was linear, accurate and precise in the concentration of 12.8 ng/mL to
510.7 ng/mL. The LOD and LOQ were found to be 3.8 ng/mL and 12.8 ng/mL, respectively.
Conclusion: The developed UHPLC can be used effectively for trace level quantification of formaldehyde
in drug substances or drug products.