Evaluating bioanalytical capabilities of paper spray ionization for abiraterone drug quantification in patient plasma

Atul Bhatnagar, Matthew J. McKay, Malmaruha Arasaratnam, Megan Crumbaker, Howard Gurney, Mark P. Molloy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Paper spray ionization (PSI) is a direct, fast and low‐cost ambient ionization technique which may have clinical utility for qualitative and quantitative analysis of therapeutic drugs and metabolites from patient specimens. We developed and validated a PSI‐mass spectrometry (PSI‐MS/MS) method according to the US‐FDA guidelines for bioanalytical studies to measure the prostate cancer drug abiraterone directly from patient plasma. The established linearity range was 3.1 – 156.8 ng/mL with a precision (%CV) and an accuracy (%) range of 0.5 – 10.7 and 93.5 – 103.2, respectively. The mean internal standard normalized matrix factor for abiraterone was just below 1 with highest %CV of 10.2 at the low level quality control. In benchmarking the performance of this assay against a published LC‐MS/MS assay we showed they were mostly equivalent, with the exception of accuracy with clinical samples. We found the quantitative values observed for abiraterone measured directly from patient plasma using PSI‐MS/MS showed positive bias. Upon investigation we concluded the increased values were due to summed quantitation of isomeric abiraterone conjugates and metabolites which are separable by LC‐MS/MS, but not with the current PSI‐MS/MS configuration. Despite demonstrating the utility of PSI‐MS/MS for rapid bioanalysis, this study also highlighted a limitation encountered with the direct analysis of abiraterone in clinical samples.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4584
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number10
Early online date31 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • paper spray ionization
  • Abiraterone
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bioanalysis
  • high –resolution mass spectrometry
  • LC‐MS/MS
  • Metabolomics
  • high-resolution mass spectrometry
  • bioanalysis
  • LC-MS/MS
  • prostate cancer
  • abiraterone
  • metabolomics


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