Chirality plays a fundamental role in nature, but its detection and quantification still face many limitations. To date, the enantiospecific analysis of mixtures necessarily requires prior separation of the individual components. The simultaneous enantiospecific detection of multiple chiral molecules in a mixture represents a major challenge, which would lead to a significantly better understanding of the underlying biological processes; for example, via enantiospecifically analysing metabolites in their native environment. Here, we report on the first in situ enantiospecific detection of a thirty-nine-component mixture. As a proof of concept, eighteen essential amino acids at physiological concentrations were simultaneously enantiospecifically detected using NMR spectroscopy and a chiral solvating agent. This work represents a first step towards the simultaneous multicomponent enantiospecific analysis of complex mixtures, a capability that will have substantial impact on metabolism studies, metabolic phenotyping, chemical reaction monitoring, and many other fields where complex mixtures containing chiral molecules require efficient characterisation.
- complex mixture
- mixture effect
- NMR spectroscopy
- simultaneous enantiospecific analysis