Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 411-421.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2020.06.039

• Original articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Determination of free fatty acids in rabbit plasma by GC-MS after trimethylsilylation derivatization

Jialin Du1, Liangjiu Yang1, Kezhao Wei2, Can Gong1*, Jianping Gao2*, Xu Xu1*   

  1. 1. School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai 201418, China
    2. School of Pharmacy, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2020-01-16 Revised:2020-04-10 Online:2020-06-30 Published:2020-04-15
  • Contact: Tel.: +86-21-60877215, +86-21-60873372, E-mail: (Gong), (Xu)
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31671928) and Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (Grant No. 15ZR1440800).


In the present study, free fatty acids (FFAs, including palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and arachidonicacid) in rabbit plasma were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after trimethylsilylation derivatizationusing N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA) – trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS) as derivatization reagent. The experimental conditions, including extraction and silylation reaction, were investigated. The method was experimentally validated. The linearity between fatty acids’ peak areas and their concentrations was obtained with the corelative coefficient (r2) all more than 0.999, and the recoveries were between 82% and 111%. The intra-day variations of FFAs’ in plasma samples at different concentrations were all less than 6%. FFA analysis results of 16 rabbit plasma samples showed that the method could be well applied in the determination of plasma samples in vivo. In contrast to the traditional method of FFA derivatization, the established trimethylsilylationmethod presented simplicity, high specificity, and completely free from the interference of the esterified fatty acid, such as triacylglyceride. The method could be applied for analyzing FFA profiles in the clinical laboratory or pharmacological research. 

Key words: Free fatty acid, Trimethylsilylation, Derivatization, Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, Rabbit plasma

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