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Title: An affordable and sensitive determination of artemisinin in Artemisia annua L. by gas chromatography with electron capture detector

item TIAN, NA
item LI, JUAN
item Ferreira, Jorge

Submitted to: Journal of Chromatography A
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2008
Publication Date: 3/5/2008
Citation: Liu, S., Tian, N., Liu, Z., Huang, J., Li, J., Ferreira, J.F. 2008. An affordable and sensitive determination of artemisinin in Artemisia annua L. by gas chromatography with electron capture detector. Journal of Chromatography A. 1190:302-306.

Interpretive Summary: The current demand for artemisinin-derived anti-malarial drugs has increased sharply since their indication by the World Health Organization as the first-line treatment for quinine-resistant malaria. While the area cultivated with Artemisia annua increases to meet the demand, there is a lack of simple and affordable methods to monitor artemisinin from harvested crops and from commercial plant extracts. This work presents a single-solvent, one-step, extraction (SSOSE) of artemisinin from leaves with the extracts being ready for immediate chromatographic analysis (gas chromatography with electron capture detection) in the same extraction solvent. This SSOSE system is accurate, reproducible, and sensitive to nanograms/mL levels, allowing recoveries of artemisinin from the plant extract higher than 97%. The method can quantify artemisinin in samples as small as a leaf and can be adapted to perform quality control in commercial plant extracts and artemisinin-derived pharmaceutical drugs.

Technical Abstract: Artemisinin demand has increased sharply since the Word Health Organization recommended its use as part of the artemisinin combination therapies (ACT) in 2001. The area for the crop cultivation has expanded in Africa and Asia and simpler and affordable methods for artemisinin analysis are needed for crop quality control. This work presents a novel chromatographic method of artemisinin analysis using gas chromatography with electron capture detection. The sample extraction and preparation involves a single-solvent one-step extraction (SSOSE), with samples being analyzed directly after extraction in the extraction solvent. This method is accurate, reproducible with over 97% recoveries. The LOD was less than 3 ug/mL, and the LOQ less than 9 ug/mL, allowing samples as low as 100 mg dry weight to be analyzed for artemisinin. The method can be applied to quality control of commercial plant extracts and to artemisinin-derived pharmaceuticals.