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A Non-Instrumental Green Analytical Method Based on Surfactant-Assisted Dispersive Liquid–Liquid Microextraction–Thin-Layer Chromatography–Smartphone-Based Digital Image Colorimetry(SA-DLLME-TLC-SDIC) for Determining Favipiravir in Biological Samples
, Abuzar Kabir,

Favipiravir (FAV) has become a promising antiviral agent for the treatment of COVID-19. Herein, a green, fast, high-sample-throughput, non-instrumental, and affordable analytical method is proposed based on surfactant-assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction (SA-DLLME) combined with thin-layer chromatography–digital image colourimetry (TLC-DIC) for determining favipiravir in biological and pharmaceutical samples. Triton X-100 and dichloromethane (DCM) were used as the disperser and extraction solvents, respectively. The extract obtained after DLLME procedure was spotted on a TLC plate and allowed to develop with a mobile phase of chloroform:methanol (8:2, v/v). The developed plate was photographed using a smartphone under UV irradiation at 254 nm. The quantification of FAV was performed by analysing the digital images’ spots with open-source ImageJ software. Multivariate optimisation using Plackett–Burman design (PBD) and central composite design (CCD) was performed for the screening and optimisation of significant factors. Under the optimised conditions, the method was found to be linear, ranging from 5 to 100 µg/spot, with a correlation coefficient (R2) ranging from 0.991 to 0.994. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) were in the ranges of 1.2–1.5 µg/spot and 3.96–4.29 µg/spot, respectively. The developed approach was successfully applied for the determination of FAV in biological (i.e., human urine and plasma) and pharmaceutical samples. The results obtained using the proposed methodology were compared to those obtained using HPLC-UV analysis and found to be in close agreement with one another. Additionally, the green character of the developed method with previously reported protocols was evaluated using the ComplexGAPI, AGREE, and Eco-Scale greenness assessment tools. The proposed method is green in nature and does not require any sophisticated high-end analytical instruments, and it can therefore be routinely applied for the analysis of FAV in various resource-limited laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic.

favipiravir; surfactant-assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction; digital image colourimetry; thin-layer chromatography
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