PFT812 - Introduction To Mass Spectrometry in Drug Analysis

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:49:17.664
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:49:25.67

Subject Title
Introduction To Mass Spectrometry in Drug Analysis

Subject Description
This subject is an introduction to the basic principles of mass spectrometry with detailed interpretation of each of its components. Topics include various modes of mass spectrometric detection such as electron impact (EI), electrospray ionization (ESI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) as well as selected ion mode (SIM) and selected reaction mode (SRM). Emphasis is on the principle and theory in interpretation of mass spectrum with examples of some commonly known drugs. A demonstration of GC-MS provides students with a first hand introduction to this powerful analytical technique.

Credit Status
One credit toward the Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Certificate Program, specialized option.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Describe the principles of mass spectrometry and the relationship to other spectrophotometric techniques.

2. Identify molecular ion peak, base peaks and isotope ion peaks.

3. Set up of the basic system and show an understanding of calibration and autotuning.

4. Examine various modes of mass detection, for example EI (electron impact), CI (Chemical Ionization) and MS/MS.

5. Explore the leading edge technology of modern hypernated instrumentation: GC-MS, LC-MS/MS.

6. Interpret mass spectrum with examples of common drugs.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Basic HPLC subject (PFT926), Basic Gas Chromatography (PFT933), equivalent subjects or work experience.

Topic Outline

  1. Introduction to Theory and Principles of Mass Spectrometry: Definition of mass spectrometry, different components in the mass spectrometry, sample introduction, ion source, analyzer, detector system
  2. The Mass Spectrum; recognition of molecular ion, parent ion, and base peaks, adducts formation from salts, isotopic ions, relative abundance.
  3. Fragmentation pattern of small molecules: Alcohol's, amines, ethers, carboxylic acid, aldehydes, lactones, steroids, etc. Re-arrangement reaction and common mechanism of fragmentation.
  4. Electron Impact and Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Theory and interpretation of spectra, Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry.
  5. Mass Spectrometer interface with GC and LC system: GC-MSD system, Atmospheric pressure Chemical Ionization theory and principle.
  6. MS/MS, Maldi, TOF :Tandem Mass spectrometry
  7. Applications: structural identification of organic compounds, study of drug metabolism, isolation and identification of metabolites. LC-MS in Analytical Method Development in Bioequivalent and Bioavailability studies.
  8. Mass spectra of common drugs: e.g. Diltiazem, lovastatin, simvastatin, enalarpril and its metabolite, salicylic acid, etc.
  9. Demonstration of GC-MSD (HP)
  10. Review session.
  11. Final Exam.

Mode of Instruction
Classroom lectures (36 hours) detail the theory of Mass Spectrometry and 6 hours on demonstration of operation of GC-MSD (HP) by the instructor.

Prescribed Texts
Lecture notes and hand-outs.

Reference Material
Optional Reading

  • Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds, sixth edition, Silverstein & Webster (1998) John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 
  • Mass Spectrometry: Analytical Chemistry by Open Learning, second edition, James Barker, David J. Ando (1999), John-Wiley Publishers. ISBN: 978-0471967620 
  • USP. 2003 (General Chapters)

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

  • Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on which they are due.
  • A late penalty of 10% per day is assessed for late assignments, including those not handed in at the beginning of class when due.
  • Material will not be accepted after one week following the due date and/or when the marked material is returned to students, whichever comes first.
  • Assignments are to be prepared by computer.

Absenteeism and Exams
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism almost guarantees an inability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • Students who are absent for an examination due to an emergency (e.g., motor vehicle accident, hospitalization or death in the family) may provide official documentation within five days of the missed exam and be provided a deferred exam at a later date.  Official documentation includes a death notice or an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time expected absence and the specific reason for the absence.  Examinations missed without official documentation and approval result in a grade of zero.
  • There are no deferred options for missed tests.  The value of missed tests, at the discretion of the Faculty, will be added to other evaluation components

English Proficiency
  • All written work should demonstrate the following characteristics for clarity and conciseness:
-writing is consistent with the rules of English grammar
-spelling and punctuation are correct
-sentences are structured correctly
-main ideas are supported with specific, relevant examples and reasons
-work flows logically through supporting statements/paragraphs
-work is arranged in correct format (e.g., as a report, essay)
-up to 10% of the final grade may be deducted on all work if the above English competencies are not met.

Format for Assignments
  • Students must use the standard, APA style for quoting sources.   Help is available at:

Laboratory Attendance

The laboratory component is essential and therefore it is strongly recommended  that you attend all labs.  Any missed labs must be supported with a legal document with three days of the lab.  Any student who fails to attend 2 scheduled laboratory classes for a 7 week subject and more than 3 laboratory classes for a 14 week subject will not pass the subject.    

Laboratory Safety
Students are required to review and understand the safety procedures and guidelines outlined on the first class and sign the sheet to this effect before beginning work in the laboratory.  Students must also wear a lab coat and safety glasses when conducting experiments.
A student who arrives without the proper safety equipment will not be permitted to participant in the lab but will be asked to leave the class.  The student will receive no grade for the lab missed.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:
Assignments 30%
Quizzes 20%
Final Exam 50%

Other Evaluation Considerations
The student is expected to comply with the Safety Rules for working in the laboratory, sign the safety contract, and WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WEAR CONTACT LENSES in the laboratory.  The student will know where all safety equipment is located in the laboratory and will be familiar with WHMIS concepts and signage.


Approved by: Denis Gravelle