An automated method is described to measure tracer-tracee-ratios (TTR) of plasma amino acids after their separation as 9-fluorenylmethylchloroformate derivatives. In a 45min cycle, 5mul plasma aliquots were derivatized, HPLC separated and subjected to electrospray ionization. By applying source collision induced dissociation, derivatives were dissociated at the peptide bond releasing the originating amino acids into the mass spectrometer. This approach enabled the determination of plasma amino acid TTRs with a standard deviation between 0.15 and 0.36%, which is sufficient to study the fate of infused tracers and their conversion products in an in vivo experiment in humans.
van Eijk, H. M., Suylen, D. P., Dejong, C. H., Luiking, Y. C., & Deutz, N. E. (2007). Measurement of amino acid isotope enrichment by liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy after derivatization with 9-fluorenylmethylchloroformate. Journal of Chromatography B, 856(1-2), 48-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.05.020