Quantitative Mass Spectrometric Determination of Methylphenidate Concentration in Urine Using an Electrospray Ionization Source Integrated with a Polymer Microchip Academic Article uri icon


  • We have demonstrated the use of a simple microfabricated electrospray ionization source for coupling microfluidic chips to mass spectrometry (MS). A polymer-based microchip, coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, has been employed for direct infusion quantitative bioanalysis of methylphenidate (Ritalin) extracted from human urine samples. The approach used a microfabricated polymer electrospray emitter to couple a microfluidic channel to a stable electrospray ionization source. The microchip was fabricated from cycloolefin plastic plate by hot embossing and thermal bonding. This microfluidic chip contained two independent microfluidic channels, integrated with two corresponding electrospray emitters and an internal gold electrode. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to prepare urine samples, spiked with methylphenidate. A trideuterated analogue of methylphenidate (methylphenidate-d(3)) was used as the internal standard for the analysis. The system showed good electrospray stability and reproducibility with different spray tips. Four different electrospray tips were used to analyze the same sample, and the results showed very small variation with a relative standard deviation of 1.4%. A standard curve prepared for methylphenidate in urine (R(2) = 0.999) was linear over the range of 0.4-800 ng/mL. The precision of the quality control samples for three different concentrations ranged from 19.1% at 20 ng/mL, 3.2% at 200 ng/mL, to 3.5% at 667 ng/mL while the accuracy was 96.3% at 20 ng/mL, 101.2% at 200 ng/mL, and 101.6% at 667 ng/mL. No system carryover was detected even when the same device was used for sequential analysis. These results suggest the potential of this microdevice for MS-based quantitative analysis in drug discovery and development.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, Y., Kameoka, J., Wachs, T., Henion, J. D., & Craighead, H. G.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004 11:11 AM