Many drugs used for the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia are volatile organic compounds that are delivered to the patient via inhalation. The low boiling point and high volatility of these compounds make them ideally suited for analysis by gas chromatography with mass spectroscopy (for example, as part of an in-process or QC check for material purity). Unfortunately, most commonly employed chromatographic methods are often unable to detect the presence of trace impurities due to limited instrument sensitivity. However, often the manufacturer is aware of the potential impurities or contaminants that may be present in a given anesthetic agent, and in such cases a targeted GC-MS method may be developed which maximizes sensitivity to these compounds. Cambridge Polymer Group has developed such chromatographic methods that can detect and quantify suspected anesthesia contaminants at levels in the parts per billion range.
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