Optimisation of HPLC gradient separations using artificial neural networks (ANNs): Application to benzodiazepines in post-mortem samples

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Journal Article
Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 2009, 877 (7), pp. 615 - 620
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Artificial neural networks (ANNs) were used in conjunction with an experimental design to optimise a gradient HPLC separation of nine benzodiazepines. Using the best performing ANN, the optimum conditions predicted were 25 mM formate buffer (pH 2.8), 10% MeOH, acetonitrile (ACN) gradient 0-15 min, 6.5-48.5%. The error associated with the prediction of retention times and peak widths under these conditions was less than 5% for six of the nine analytes. The optimised method, with limits of detection (LODs) in the range of 0.0057-0.023 μg/mL and recoveries between 58% and 92%, was successfully applied to authentic post-mortem samples. This method represents a more flexible and convenient means for optimising gradient elution separations using ANNs than has been previously reported. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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