Investigating drug metabolism with electrochemistry / mass spectrometry

Published on January 13, 2016

Electrochemistry (EC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) in the last years has been proven to serve as a promising tool in the field of metabolism research. In conventional animal based metabolism studies, the identification of especially short living, reactive intermediates is difficult due to their binding to cell components such as proteins.


With EC/MS as a purely instrumental approach, most oxidative metabolism reactions can be simulated. This way, it is possible to study the phase I metabolism of xenobiotics including the identification of reactive intermediates. By extending the setup and adding a solution of a biomolecule like a peptide, protein or DNA immediately after EC oxidation, the phase II metabolism can be studied and toxicity assessment can be performed as well.

Karst Research Group | University of Münster, Germany

Uwe Karst is Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Münster in Germany. His research interests focus on hyphenated analytical techniques and their (bio)medical and pharmaceutical applications, including elemental speciation analysis, metallomics, mass spectrometric imaging and electrochemistry/MS.

Tina Wigger is a PhD student of the Karst group working in the field of electrochemistry, mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography for metabolism research.

Lisa Frensemeier is a PhD student of the Karst group interested in the field of electrochemistry/liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Her research is related to the development of a bottom-up approach for electrochemical metabolite synthesis and quantification of electrogenerated metabolites.

Dr. Lars Büter finished his PhD thesis in the Karst group in October 2015. The main focus of his research was based on protein labeling by electrogenerated intermediates as well as on the application of microfluidic electrochemical chips coupled to MS.

Dr. Torsten Vielhaber is a scientific researcher in the Karst group interested in the hyphenation of analytical techniques.


Baumann A., Karst U.: Online electrochemistry/mass spectrometry in drug metabolism studies: principles and applications. Expert Opin. Drug Metab. Toxicol. 2010, 6,715-731, DOI: 10.1517/17425251003713527

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