Pharmaceutical analysis and metabolites. Coordinator: Gotti

Development, validation and application of analytical methods and separation techniques (gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and electrokinetic techniques) also hyphenated to mass spectrometry, in analysis of pharmaceuticals and related substances, bioactive compounds including proteins/peptides and metabolites.

Figure 1: 3D printing slicer view of microfluidics schemes useful for CE-MS by electron ionization, and examples of electropherograms by CE-LEDIF of derivatized amino acids.

Research themes

1) Separation techniques at analytical and microanalytical scale (CE, UHPLC, GC-MS) addressed to bioactive compounds determination.

Chromatographic and electrokinetics methods are developed and applied to the determination of bioactive compounds in complex samples e.g., biological, natural extracts and environmental samples. The development involves the use and implementation of sample preparation techniques as solid-phase microextraction (SPME), solid-phase extraction (SPE) also by using sorbents based on molecular imprinting (MIP). The optimization and validation of the analytical methods is carried out by chemometric approaches as Design of Experiments (DoE) and Quality by Design (QbD).


2) Implementation of detection systems for electrokinetics separation at microanalytical scale (CE-LEDIF, CE-EIMS).

Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and light-emitting diode-induced fluorescence (LEDIF) are among the most sensitive detection approaches in CE. Only few compounds possess the native fluorescence to be directly detected by LIF and LEDIF, thus derivatization is often necessary to introduce into the target compounds the molecular moieties able to fluoresce under laser o LED excitation. The research is addressed to the development of derivatization techniques using novel fluorescent tags addressed to a variety of molecules of biological, pharmaceutical, and environmental interest.   

An original hyphenation mode for combining CE to mass spectrometry (MS) is developing by the direct introduction of the CE effluent into the electron impact (EI) source by means of home-made 3D-printed interfaces.

Lab Members

Roberto Gotti, Associate Professor

Jessica Fiori, Associate Professor (Dept. G. Ciamician UniBo)

Muhammad Waqar, PhD student 

Lucrezia Floris, Research fellow

Internship projects

Two internship slots/year are available.


Main publications

  • Gotti, R., Fiori, J., Furlanetto, S., Orlandini, S., Candela, M. and Franzellitti, S. (2022). “Assessment of bioaccumulation of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in marine mussels using capillary electrophoresis with light-emitting diode-induced fluorescence detection”. J. Chromatogr. A 1681: 463452.
  • Pasquini, B., Orlandini, S., Furlanetto, S., Gotti, R., Del Bubba, M., Boscaro, F., Bertaccini, B., Douša, M. and Pieraccini G. (2020). “Quality by Design as a risk-based strategy in pharmaceutical analysis: Development of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the determination of nintedanib and its impurities”. J. Chromatogr. A 1611: 460615.
  • Fiori, J., Turroni, S., Candela, M., Brigidi, P. and Gotti R. (2018). “Simultaneous HS-SPME GC-MS determination of short chain fatty acids, trimethylamine and trimethylamine N-oxide for gut microbiota metabolic profile”. Talanta 189: 573-578.