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Technology Mass spectrometry (MS)
 
Protection strategy Product authentication
Type Analytical technique
System Laboratory based
Medium Medicine
Packaging
Authentication/Identificaton Authentication
Traceability No
Cost Price on request
Required equipment Mass spectrometer
Vertification level Laboratories
N.B. Better when used coupled with a front-end sample preparation technique
Description MS separates and measures ions based on their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratio. The MS vaporizes and ionizes the sample, the different constituents of the sample are separated by an electromagnetic field, then the ions are detected, usually by a quantitative method and the ion signal is processed into mass spectra. The mass spectra is then analyzed to identify unknown compounds, determine the isotopic composition of elements, and determine the structure of a compound by observing its fragmentation.
This technique is generally used in tandem with chromatographic separation techniques for better results. The most common being:
GC-MS (Gas chromatography-MS)
HPLC-MS (High performance liquid chromatography-MS)
IMS-MS (Ion mobility spectrometry-MS)
MS-MS (double tandem MS)
CE-MS (Capillary electrophoresis-MS)
 
Strengths Can be used to detect counterfeit packaging: isotope ratio analysis of the packaging;
Identification of the different compounds of the sample;
Unequivocal identification of complex pharmaceutical samples when coupled with other technique such as chromatographic techniques;
 
Limitations Cost;
Requires equipment + formation;
Destructive of the sample;
 
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