New validated high-performance liquid chromatographic method for simultaneous analysis of ten flavonoid aglycones in plant extracts using a C18 fused-core column and acetonitrile–tetrahydrofuran gradient


Correspondence: Dr. Monika A. Olszewska, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical University of Łódź, ul. Muszyńskiego 1, 90-151 Łódź, Poland


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An HPLC method of high resolution has been developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of ten prominent flavonoid aglycones in plant materials using a fused-core C18-silica column (Ascentis® Express, 4.6 mm × 150 mm, 2.7 μm). The separation was accomplished with an acetonitrile-tetrahydrofuran gradient elution at a flow rate of 1 mL/min and temperature of 30°C. UV spectrophotometric detection was employed at 370 nm for flavonols (quercetin [QU], myricetin [MY], isorhamnetin [IS], kaempferol [KA], sexangularetin [SX], and limocitrin [LM]) and 340 nm for flavones (apigenin [AP], acacetin [AC], chrysoeriol [CH], and luteolin [LU]). The high resolution of critical pairs QU/LU (10.50), QU/CH (3.40), AP/CH (2.51), SX/LM (2.30), and IS/KA (2.70) was achieved within 30.3 min. The observed column back pressure was less than 4300 psi, thus acceptable for conventional HPLC equipment. The method was sensitive enough having LODs of 0.115–0.525 ng and good linearity (r > 0.9999) over the test range. The precision values, expressed as RSD values, were <7.5%, and the accuracy was in the range of 95.3–100.2% for all analytes except MY (73.8%). The method was successfully employed for the determination of flavonoids in several medicinal plants, such as Ginkgo biloba, Betula pendula, and a variety of Sorbus species.