ANALYTICAL SCIENCES APRIL 2007, VOL. 23 2007 © The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry


Enhanced Electrochemical Detection of Ketorolac Tromethamine at Polypyrrole Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode Padmanabhan SANTHOSH,* Nagarajan SENTHIL KUMAR,* Murugesan RENUKADEVI,* Anantha Iyengar GOPALAN,*† Thiyagarajan VASUDEVAN,* and Kwang-Pill LEE** *Department of Industrial Chemistry, Alagappa University, Karaikudi-630 003, India **Advanced Analytical Science and Nanomaterials Lab, Department of Chemistry Education, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, South Korea

A glassy carbon electrode modified with a coating of polypyrrole (Ppy) exhibited an attractive performance for the detection and determination of a non-steroidal and non-narcotic analgesic compound, ketorolac tromethamine (KT). Cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse and square wave voltammetry were used in a combined way to identify the electrochemical characteristics and to optimize the conditions for detection. For calibrating and estimating KT, squarewave voltammetry was mainly used. The drug shows a well-defined peak at –1.40 V vs. Ag/AgCl in the acetate buffer (pH 5.5). The existence of Ppy on the surface of the electrode gives higher electrochemical active sites at the electrode for the detection of KT and preconcentrate KT by adsorption. The square-wave stripping voltammetric response depends on the excitation signal and the accumulation time. The calibration curve is linear in the range 1 × 10–11 to 1 × 10–7 M with a detection limit of 1.0 × 10–12 M. Applicability to serum samples was also demonstrated. A detection limit of 1.0 ng ml for serum was observed. Square-wave voltammetry shows superior performance over UV spectroscopy and other techniques. (Received May 15, 2006; Accepted September 19, 2006; Published April 10, 2007)

Ketorolac tromethamine, KT ((k)-5-benzoyl-2,3-dihydro-1H pyrrolizine-l-carboxylic acid), is a member of the pyrrolopyrrole group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs1 with cyclooxygenase inhibitory activity.2

KT is a non-opioid analgesic which exists in three crystalline forms that are soluble in water. KT, when administered systemically, has demonstrated analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pyretic activity.3 KT is used for acute and short-term relief of pain. It increases the plasma levels of salicylates due to a decrease in plasma protein binding. The most frequent adverse events reported with the use of KT are transient stinging and burning on instillation. These events were reported for up to 40% of patients who were administered the drug in clinical trials. Other adverse events occurring approximately 1 to 10% of the time during treatment with KT included allergic reactions, corneal edema, iritis, ocular inflammation, ocular irritation, superficial keratitis and superficial ocular infections. Hence, a highly selective and accurate analytical method for measuring KT is desired, probably for optimizing its therapy and minimizing its side effects. For electrochemical detection and estimation, conducting polymers have recently been used as modifying substrates, because they can act as an electronic transducer for charged †

To whom correspondence should be addressed.

species binding to their surface. Biochemical units can also be covalently grafted to the polymer backbone, and subsequently used for detection. Polypyrrole (Ppy), modified onto platinum substrates was used to reduce the interference signal caused by ascorbic and uric acids on an ammonia amperometric sensor in aqueous solutions.4 A platinum electrode modified by an electrogenerated overoxidized Ppy was used as a substrate for biosensor Miniaturized and disposable amperometric application.5 biosensors were developed for glucose determination in serum. A simple and label-free electrochemical sensor for the recognition of DNA hybridization was reported based on a functionalized conducting copolymer, poly[pyrrole-co-4-(3pyrrolyl)butanoic acid].6 Several analytical techniques were developed for the determination of KT from the bulk drug, which included nonaqueous titration, thin-layer chromatography, UV spectrophotometry,7,8 and high-performance liquid chromatography methods,9 electrochromatography,10 reversed-phase liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry11 and flow-injection analysis.12 KT has been determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry using diazopropane.13 Studies in human serum have been performed.14–17 However, these methods require tedious sample preparation and time-consuming experimental procedures. A simple and sensitive method is therefore needed for the fast, accurate detection and estimation of KT. In this work, an electro-analytical approach was developed for the detection and determination of KT by square-wave stripping voltammetry using a Ppy modified glassy carbon (GC/Ppy) electrode in an acetate buffer (pH 5.5). The method was also tested for the determination of KT in human serum. A recovery study was carried out using a tablet containing 10 mg of KT.



Experimental Reagents and chemicals Ketorol® tablets containing 10 mg of KT were obtained from Dr. Reddy’s Lab., India. Stock solutions of KT were prepared in distilled water. Pyrrole (E. Merck) was triply distilled until a colorless liquid was obtained and stored under nitrogen. All of the reagents employed were of analytical grade. Solutions for pH measurements were buffered using Britton–Robinson buffer adjusted with NaOH to a desired pH. Mostly acetate buffer solutions (pH 5.5) were used as a supporting electrolyte. Preparation of a polypyrrole modified GC electrode A Ppy modified GC electrode, GC/Ppy, was fabricated by coating PPy over GC by the potentiostatic polymerization of pyrrole. Before the electro-polymerization of pyrrole, GC of area 0.069 cm2 was mechanically polished with 1 μΜ of alumina slurry to a mirror finish. A typical procedure for making a GC/Ppy electrode is outlined here. A 0.1 M pyrrole solution was prepared in 1 M HCl in deionized water, and was deoxygenated with purified nitrogen. Electrochemical polymerization was performed using a BAS 100 BW electrochemical analyzer by applying a constant potential of +0.85 V vs. Ag/AgCl onto a solution of pyrrole (0.1 M) in 1 M HCl for 5 min. The GC/Ppy electrodes were stored under nitrogen. Electrochemical measurements with KT A solution of KT at the required pH was subjected to different electrochemical measurements. Cyclic voltammetry, differentialpulse voltammetry and square-wave voltammetry were used. The electrochemical cell was fitted with Ag/AgCl as a reference electrode and a platinum wire as a counter electrode. Cyclic voltammograms (CVs), differential-pulse voltammograms (DPVs) and square-wave voltammograms (SWVs) were recorded with a BAS 100 BW electrochemical analyzer. For obtaining CV, the potential was scanned between –0.7 and –1.5 V at a scan rate of 50 mV s–1. In the case of square-wave voltammetry, a frequency of 100 Hz, a scan increment of 10 mV and amplitude of 25 mV were used. A magnetic stirrer was used for convective transport during preconcentration. All of the solutions were deoxygenated with highly pure nitrogen. Analysis of KT in real sample Serum samples, 1 ml each with varying amounts of KT (50 – 400 ng), were acidified with 1 M HCl and 5 ml of chloroform. The mixture was stirred for 5 min and centrifuged. The organic layer was evaporated to dryness, dissolved in 10 ml of acetate buffer and used for the analysis. For spectrophotometry measurements, the tablets were dissolved in 5 ml of distilled water and stirred for 10 min. The solution was diluted with an acetate buffer (pH 5.5). Shimadzu UV-2401 UVPC spectrophotometer was used to record the spectrum of the samples.

Results and Discussion CVs of KT (5 × 10–4 M) solution were recorded at bare GC and GC/Ppy electrodes at a scan rate of 50 mV s–1 in an acetate buffer (pH 5.5) and compared (Fig. 1). A well-defined reduction peak was observed at –1.46 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) on a GC electrode (Fig. 1(a)). However, the reduction of KT occurred at –1.40 V for a GC/Ppy electrode (Fig. 1(b)). The peak current (ipc) of reduction was found to be higher at GC/Ppy than at a bare GC. The cathodic charge consumed for the reduction of KT was

Fig. 1 Cyclic voltammograms of 5 × 10–4 M KT at a glassy carbon electrode (pH 5.5) (a) and a polypyrrole modified glassy carbon electrode at pH 5.5 (b) and at pH 2.5 (c). The inset shows the CV of polypyrrole in an acetate buffer (pH 5.5).

calculated by graphical integration of area under the cathodic peak. The cathodic charge value for the reduction of KT at GC/Ppy electrode was found to be higher than that for the bare GC electrode (34.283 μC for GC/Ppy and 22.5 μC of GC). The higher cathodic charge with the modified electrode informs that the GC/Ppy has more active sites for the reduction of KT. In a reverse scan, no oxidation peak was observed in both electrodes indicating the irreversible nature of the reduction of KT. Also, the reduction of KT was pH dependent. Two waves at –1.10 and –1.35 V were identified for pH 2.5 (Fig. 1(c)), in contrast to a single peak that was noted with GC/Ppy at pH 5.5 (Fig. 1(b)). The effect of the scan rate (ν) on the peak current (ipc) for the reduction of KT was then examined. Interestingly, the relation between ipc and ν is different with GC and GC/Ppy electrodes. As shown in Fig. 2(a), the plot of ipc vs. ν for GC/Ppy is linear in the range 50 ± 600 mV s–1, indicating that the reduction involves an initial immobilization of KT at the Ppy film. Also, the peak potential (Ep) shifts to more negative with increasing scan rate (Fig. 2(a)), which confirms the irreversible tendency of the reduction process. On the other hand, a square-root dependence of ν on ipc was noted (Fig. 2(b)) for GC. This shows that the reduction of KT at GC is diffusion-controlled process. The compact immobilization of KT at GC/Ppy with enhanced electrochemical response provides a platform for further electrochemical measurements with GC/Ppy. SWVs were registered for the reduction of KT at various pHs. The influence of the pH on the peak current was examined between pHs of 2.5 and 12.5 (Fig. 3) under two different conditions: without applying an accumulation time and with an accumulation time of 60 s. One can see that the current is higher with an accumulation time at any pH. The maximum current was noted for pH 5.5, and tended to decrease at higher pHs. This may have been due to a decrease of the electroactivity of polypyrrole at neutral and alkaline pHs. Hence, further measurements were performed with pH 5.5. The results from square-wave voltammetry demonstrate that measurements of KT with nanomolar concentrations are possible. This is due to the effective preconcentration/accumulation of KT at the GC/Ppy electrode. Figure 4 shows (a) DPV and (b) SWV recorded with an accumulation time of 60 s for a nanomolar solution of KT. SWV showed a higher peak current compared to differential pulse measurements. Similar



Fig. 4 Differential pulse and square-wave stripping voltammograms for 1 × 10–9 M KT. (a) Differential pulse waveform with a scan rate of 10 mV s–1 and a pulse amplitude of 25 mV; and (b) square wave form with a frequency f of 100 Hz, scan increment of dE = 10 mV and amplitude of E = 25 mV.

Fig. 2 Effect of the scan rate (ν) on the reduction peak current (ipc) of KT at GC/Ppy (a) and GC electrodes (b). [KT] = 5.0 × 10–4 M.

Fig. 5 Dependence of the square-wave stripping peak current on the accumulation time for [KT]; 1 × 10–11 (a), 1 × 10–10 (b), 1 × 10–9 (c), 1 × 10–8 (d) and 1 × 10–7 M (e); f = 100 Hz, scan increment dE = 10 mV and amplitude E = 25 mV. Fig. 3 Effect of pH on the accumulation of KT using square-wave voltammetry (f, 100 Hz; scan increment, dE = 10 mV; amplitude, E = 25 mV); tacc = 0 s (a) and 60 s (b) with an equilibrium time of 10 s.

advantages along with sensitivity and rapidity of the SWV were documented in connection with the trace analysis of several other drugs.18–20 Square-wave voltammetry was therefore used for further measurements. SWVs were recorded by increasing the accumulation times for solutions containing KT between concentrations of 1.0 × 10–11 and 1.0 × 10–7 M (Fig. 5). The ipc increased linearly with the accumulation time over the whole range of the accumulation times tested for [KT] = 1.0 × 10–11 M and [KT] = 1.0 × 10–10 M. A rectilinear relation was noted up to an accumulation time of 270 s for the other concentrations. Above this time, a decrease in the current was observed. This observation can be explained as being due to the release of a part of the accumulated KT molecules after reaching the saturation surface coverage. After careful selection of the optimum conditions for the determination of KT, a study was made to establish the relationship between the peak current and the concentration of KT. A linear relationship was noted in the concentration range between 1 × 10–11 and 1 × 10–7 M. Twelve different standards were prepared in triplicate, and the following regression parameters were found: R, 0.9992; slope, 1.05; SD of slope, 7.56 × 10–4 (A.I. mol–1); intercept (A), –2 × 10–9; SD of

intercept, 3.45 × 10–9. The analytical sensitivity was estimated to be 5.12 × 10–9 mol L–1 from the ratio of standard deviation of the regression of Y to X (signal to concentration) and the slope of the straight line (ip = 5.12C – 21.58). The relative standard deviation (RSD) of the analytical signals was calculated for several concentration values by using the calibration data, and found to be 2% for 1 × 10–11 M and 10% for 1 × 10–7 M. The detection limit was obtained as 1.0 × 10–12 M by employing the Clayton et al. method21 with the selection of false positive and false negative probabilities as 0.05. The validity of the determination of KT by SWV was tested in serum samples. Extraction of KT from serum samples was done as described in the literature.22 Figure 6 illustrates the SWV responses to different concentrations of KT in serum samples, after an accumulation time of 5 min under at the opencircuit conditions. The electrode response showed a linear relation with a lower limit of the KT concentration as 400 ng ml–1 detection limit of 1 ng ml–1 was witnessed according to: ip (μA) = 2.58C (ng mL–1) – 37.58; r = 0.997, n = 5. The reproducibility of the total analytical process was ascertained from multiple measurements on each of the three serum samples. An average deviation of 5% was obtained. The


ANALYTICAL SCIENCES APRIL 2007, VOL. 23 Table 1 Conc./ng mL

Percentage recoveries of KT in serum samples –1

50 100 250

Fig. 6 Square-wave stripping voltammograms for different concentrations of KT extracted from blood serum samples. a) 50, b) 100, c) 250, d) 300 and e) 400 ng mL–1; (---) sample without KT.

Mean rec., %

Conc./ng mL–1

Mean rec., %

95.4 96.8 97.5

300 400

98.4 95.2

were used to determine KT at nanomolar concentration levels. Various controlling parameters in SWV, such as the excitation signal, pH and accumulation time, were optimized for the reduction of KT and to obtain the concentration ranges for the determination. The method adopted by us is ideally suitable for real sample analysis. It is envisaged that this analytical method can be used for the determination of KT in clinical laboratories.

References results of voltammetric determinations of KT in serum samples are given in Table 1. The results are satisfactorily accurate and precise. The effect of the excipients present in the dosage form was examined by carrying out voltammetric determinations of KT in serum samples in the presence of different excipients at concentrations that can be found in the tablet dosage form. The recoveries obtained after five repeated experiments were calculated as 101.26% with an RSD of 0.85%, indicating that there is no interference from any excipients, since they are electrochemically inactive at the potential for the electroreduction of KT. A recovery study on ten individual tablets containing 10 mg KT was carried out and found to be 97.95% with SD = 1.2%. Furthermore, for comparing the performance efficiency of the analytical method that have established here for KT determination, UV spectrophotometry was used. The spectrophotometric detection of KT was performed at pH 5.5, similar to that described in the literature.23 The absorption spectra of KT exhibits a prominent and sharp peak at 335 nm at the pH 5.5. This peak has better absorbtivity, and shows a linear dependence with the concentration of KT. In the case of spectrophotometric detection, a recovery of 97.62% with SD = 2.3% was obtained. Upon comparison of results from SWV and UV spectroscopy, the following conclusions were drawn. Both SWV and UV spectroscopy methods provide nearly similar accuracy and precision. However, SWV has superior performances over spectrophotometry in several aspects. SWV requires a lesser extent of sample preparation and preconcentration steps, and is comparatively faster. The detection limit of SWV is very low (in the nanomolar concentration range). GC/Ppy acts as a preconcentration sink. SWV is comparatively faster than a UV measurement. The method can be used to determine KT at the nanomolar level, which is ideally suitable for the practical determination of real samples of KT.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.


10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Conclusions 21. The modification of a GC electrode with a conducting polymer, Ppy, entraps KT and preconcentrate at the electrode interface. This makes the detection limit of KT to be in a nanomolar concentration range. Cyclic and square-wave voltammetries

22. 23.

M. M. T. Buckley and R. N. Brogden, Drugs, 1990, 39, 86. K. Hillier, Drugs Future, 1981, 6, 669. Hiller, Drugs of the Future—Ketorolac, 1984, 9(10), 789. M. Vidotti, L. H. Dall’Antonia, E. P. Cintra, and S. I. C de Torresi, Electrochim. Acta, 2004, 49, 3665. M. Quinto, I. Losito, F. Palmisano, and C. G. Zambonin, Anal. Chim. Acta, 2000, 420, 9. H. Peng, C. Soeller, N. Vigar, P. A. Kilmartin, M. B. Cannell, G. A. Bowmaker, R. P. Cooney, and J. T. Sejdic, Biosens. Bioelectron., 2005, 20, 1821. R. T. Sane, V. B. Tirodkar, A. J. Desai, M. K. Patel, and U. D. Kulkarni, Indian Drugs, 1992, 29, 489. B. P. Reddy, M. V. Suryanarayana, S. Venkatraman, G. L. Krupadanam, and C. S. P. Sastry, Indian Drugs, 1993, 30, 176. M. Sultan, G. Stecher, W. M. Stoggl, R. Bakry, P. Zaborski, C. W. Huck, N. M. El Kousy, and G. K. Bonn, Curr. Med. Chem., 2005, 12, 573. S. Orlandini, S. Furlanetto, S. Pinzauti, G. D’Orazio, and S. Fanali, J. Chromatogr., A, 2004, 1044, 295. J. B. Quintana and T. Reemtsma, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 2004, 18, 765. Z. Atkosar, G. Altiokka, K. Kircali, and E. Sener, Acta Pharm. Turcica, 2001, 43, 177. B. K. Logan, P. N. Friel, K. L. Peterson, and D. B. Predmore, J. Anal. Toxicol., 1995, 19, 61. R. S. Chaudhary, S. S. Gangwal, K. C. Jindal, and S. Khanna, J. Chromatogr., Biomed. Appl., 1993, 614, 180. A. T. Wu and I. J. Massey, J. Chromatogr., Biomed. Appl., 1990, 534, 241. J. C. Strum, H. Canelo, L. J. Nunez-Vergara, and J. A. Squella, Talanta, 1997, 44, 931. A. Radi, A. M. Beltagi, and M. M. Ghoneim, Talanta, 2001, 54, 283. J. C. Vire, N. A. El Maali, G. J. Patriarche, and G. D. Christian, Talanta, 1988, 35, 997. C. Yarnitzky and W. F. Smyth, Int. J. Pharm., 1991, 75, 161. A. M. S. Roque da Silva, J. C. Lima, M. T. O. Teles, and A. M. O. Brett, Talanta, 1999, 49, 611. C. A. Clayton, J. W. Hines, and P. D. Elkis, Anal. Chem., 1987, 59, 2506. F. Jamali, F. M. Pasutto, and C. Lemko, J. Liq. Chromatogr., 1989, 12, 1835. United States Pharmacopeia 23, Supple. 1, 1995, 2474.

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