Contemporary medicine increasingly relies on metal-based drugs and correspondingly growing in importance is the monitoring of the drugs and their metabolites in biological samples. Over the last decade, a range of analytical techniques have been developed in order to improve administration strategies for clinically approved compounds and understand pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and metabolism of new drugs so as ultimately to make their clinical development more effective. This paper gives an overview of various separation and detection methods, as well as common sample preparation strategies, currently in use to achieve the intended goals. The critical discussion of existing analytical technologies encompasses notably their detection capability, ability to handle biological matrices with minimum pretreatment, sample throughput, and cost efficiency. The main attention is devoted to those applications that are progressed to real-world biosamples and selected examples are given to illustrate the overall performance and applicability of advanced analytical systems. Also emphasized is the emerging role of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), both as a standalone instrument (for determination of metals originating from drug compounds) and as an element-specific detector in combinations with liquid chromatography or capillary electrophoresis (for drug metabolism studies). An increasing number of academic laboratories are using ICP-MS technology today, and this review will focus on the analytical possibilities of ICP-MS which would before long provide the method with the greatest impact on the clinical laboratory.
Keywords: Metallodrugs, bioanalysis, analytical methodology, platinum, ruthenium, metallomics, ICP-MS, therapeutic drugs, diagnostic agents, metal-based drugs
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