DEVELOPMENT OF MASS SPECTROMETRIC ANALYSIS FOR DRUG METABOLITE IDENTIFICATION AND QUANTITATION, DELINEATING CELLULOSE FAST PYROLYSIS MECHANISMS, AND STUDYING GAS-PHASE REACTIVITY OF VINYL CATIONS
Mass spectrometry (MS) has become one of the most powerful and versatile tools for chemical analysis due to its ultra-high sensitivity, high throughput, ease of automation, and the large amount of information obtained. Nowadays, MS is extensively used in many tasks, such as identification and quantitation of drug metabolites, analysis of the products of biomass pyrolysis, and study of reactive intermediates, to name a few. However, these mass spectrometric analyses are not without challenges. For example, the requirement for quantifying trace amounts of substances in a complex mixture constantly pushes the detection limit of mass spectrometers, and the increased sample complexity demands higher and higher mass resolution. Therefore, MS is constantly evolving to address more difficult analytical challenges. A variety of MS techniques have been developed over the years, including soft ionization methods that facilitate mass spectrometric analysis of macromolecules, such as proteins and antibodies that enables the development of new therapeutic agents, benchtop high-resolution mass spectrometers, such as the orbitraps that can be used to analyze some of the most complex mixtures, and portable mass spectrometers which can be used in the home and garden and even in cancer surgery. Besides its applications in chemical analysis, MS can serve as a unique tool for the fundamental study of gas-phase ion/molecule reactions, these gas-phase reactions can be used to better understand the reactivities of many reactive intermediates and to obtain structural information for unknown analytes.
This thesis is aimed at addressing challenges involved in mass spectrometric analyses of isomeric drug metabolites (Chapter 4), quantitation of drug metabolites by using tandem mass spectrometry coupled with liquid chromatography (LC-MS/MS) (Chapter 5), delineating cellulose depolymerization mechanisms upon fast pyrolysis by using pyrolysis-tandem mass spectrometry (py-MS/MS) (Chapter 6), and studying the reactivities of vinyl cation intermediates (Chapter 7). An overview of the dissertation research is given in Chapter 1, the instrumentation and principles of linear quadrupole ion trap (LQIT) mass spectrometer are discussed in Chapter 2, and the organic synthesis performed for several studies is detailed in Chapter 3.