High-performance liquid chromatography of selenoamino acids and organo selenium compounds Speciation by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

Susan M. Bird, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Honghong Ge, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Peter C. Uden, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Julian Tyson, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Eric Block, SUNY Albany
Eric R. Denoyer


As part of an ongoing study to identify selenium compounds with cancer chemopreventive activity, extracts of selenium-enriched samples were analyzed by HPLC–inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-MS. Ion-exchange, ion pair and derivatization methods for reversed-phase HPLC were considered and advantages and disadvantages for each compared. Anion exchange allows separation of selenite and selenate, but otherwise provides poor separation. Pre-column derivatization and reversed-phase chromatography provides separation of compounds with terminal amine functionalities, but many other species elute in the void volume. The ion pair method gave optimal separation and was compatible with standard ICP-MS operating conditions.