Dispersive ionic liquid-liquid microextraction combined with liquid chromatography and UV detection was used for the determination of two antichagasic drugs in human plasma: nifurtimox and benznidazole. The effects of experimental parameters on extraction efficiency - the type and volume of ionic liquid and disperser solvent, pH, nature and concentration of salt, and the time for centrifugation and extraction - were investigated and optimized. Matrix effects were detected and thus the standard addition method was used for quantification. This microextraction procedure yielded significant improvements over those previously reported in the literature and has several advantages, including high inter-day reproducibility (relative standard deviation=1.02% and 3.66% for nifurtimox and benznidazole, respectively), extremely low detection limits (15.7 ng mL-1 and 26.5 ng mL-1 for nifurtimox and benznidazole, respectively), and minimal amounts of sample and extraction solvent required. Recoveries were high (98.0% and 79.8% for nifurtimox and benznidazole, respectively). The proposed methodology offers the advantage of highly satisfactory performance in addition to being inexpensive, simple, and fast in the extraction and preconcentration of these antichagasic drugs from human-plasma samples, with these characteristics being consistent with the practicability requirements in current clinical research or within the context of therapeutic monitoring. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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