Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anas El-Aneed

Anas El-Aneed Professor

3D01.3 Health Sciences

Teaching Responsibilities:

Medicinal Chemistry and Physical Pharmacy (Undergraduate) and Analytical Mass Spectrometry (Graduate) 

Research Interest

  • Analytical mass spectrometry
  • The biological fate of lipid-based drug delivery systems
  • Targeted metabolomics
  • Substance abuse 

Basic Science: Three main streams are being evaluated, focusing on the development of mass spectrometric (MS) methods for the analysis of small molecules in both qualitative and quantitative applications. 

Stream 1: Assessing the biological fate of lipid-based drug delivery agents:  Gemini surfactants are group of promising synthetic lipid molecules used as drug/gene delivery agents. They from nanoparticles when complexed with drugs or genes. Our group has established the tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) fingerprints of over 50 gemini surfactants. Subsequently, the data was used to develop different MS-based analytical methods, to quantify gemini surfactants in tissue culture. The methods were fully validated to ensure the accuracy of the quantitative data. Three model gemini surfactants with varying delivery efficiencies and cellular toxicities were formulated with DNA. Their uptake and removal from cells were similar; however, analysis at the subcellular level showed different distribution of the gemini surfactants among various cellular organelles. Such discrepancies provide insights into their varying efficiencies and toxicities. 

Since many of gemini surfactants are designed for topical applications, we also developed MS-based methods to determine their skin localization/penetration. Tested gemini surfactants showed favorable minimal escape to the systematic circulation.

In the future, we aim to study the gemini surfactant’s possible metabolite formation. In addition, the impact of the various formulations on the cellular metabolome will be evaluated. The goal is to establish the relationship between the chemical structure of gemini surfactants and their biological fate in relation to efficiency and toxicity.  As such, newer and safer compounds are subsequently synthesized. 

Stream 2: Urine metabolomics for biomarker discovery in respiratory illness: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common respiratory illnesses that reduce the quality of life and can result in premature death. Asthma, in particular, is common among young children, a vulnerable population that cannot perform conventional clinical diagnostic tests.

In collaboration with Dr. Darryl Adamko, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, we developed targeted HPLC-MS/MS methods for the analysis of 50 urinary metabolites that are linked to respiratory illnesses. Preliminary data showed separation among various test subjects based on their clinical condition. The end goal is to develop clinical MS-based testing that can aid in disease diagnosis and management.  

Stream 3: Extraction of active metabolites from canola oil waste stream: Canada is a major world producer of canola oil. By-products from the crushing and refining process are either treated as waste or low value products. Our analysis revealed that the waste stream contains around 10% phytosterols and 2% tocopherols. Therefore, extracting high value compounds (phytosterols and tocopherols) from canola oil waste stream represents an important value-added opportunity. We are developing extraction strategies to isolate biologically active metabolites from canola’s waste stream without the use of toxic solvents. LC-MS/MS methods are developed to profile the various extracts. Nanotechnology is employed to formulate the isolated active metabolites into functional foods. 

Public Health Research:

We evaluated barriers to accessing health services by People who Inject Drugs (PWIDs) in the city of Saskatoon, Canada.  Focus groups with PWIDs and service providers revealed that stigma/discrimination, gaps in education/training and lack of resources hindered PWIDs access to services. Subsequently, we evaluated the educational needs (knowledge and skills) of pharmacists in the area of addiction and substance abuse. Based on the findings, we are developing pharmacist/patient encounter protocol, referral guide and educational workshops [focusing on addiction management] for pharmacists, so that appropriate care is provided to patients struggling with the disease of addiction. 

Past research: 

Our group successfully used Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI)-MS to develop validated methods to quantify pharmaceuticals within biological systems. In addition, we developed novel nanodiamond MALDI matrices that showed a promise for the analysis of small pharmaceuticals. Unlike conventional matrices, background noise was reduced, allowing for efficient detection of small organic pharmaceuticals.  

We also explained a unique ionization mechanism that resulted in the formation of an unexpected positively charged [M-H]+ ions when analyzing nitrogen containing drug candidates using MALDI and Atmospheric Pressure Photo Ionization (APPI). Photon energy triggers the ionization of

the compounds even in the absence of any ionization enhancer such as matrix, solvent or dopant. Three proposed mechanisms for the formation of [M-H]+ were evaluated. The first mechanism involves the loss of H2 from the protonated [M+H]+ species. The other two mechanisms include hydrogen transfer from the analyte radical cation or hydride abstraction from the neutral analyte molecule.

Recent Publications (2015-2018)

  1. Jin W, Badea I, Leary S, and El-Aneed A.* The determination of gemini surfactants used as gene delivery agents in cellular matrix using validated tandem mass spectrometric method. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2019: 164: 164-172.
  2. Khamis M, Adamko D, Purves R, and El-Aneed A.* Quantitative determination of potential urine biomarkers of respiratory illnesses using new targeted metabolomic approach. Analytica Chimica Acta, 2019, 1047: 81-92.
  3. Al-Dulaymi M, Michel D, Chitanda J, El-Aneed A, Verrall R, Grochulski P, Badea I.* Molecular engineering as an approach to modulate gene delivery efficiency of peptide-modified gemini surfactants. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2018: 29: 3293-3308.
  4. Khamis M, Holt T, Awad H, El-Aneed A, Adamko D.* Comparative analysis of creatinine and osmolality as urine normalization strategies in targeted metabolomics for the differential diagnosis of asthma and COPD. Metabolomics, 2018, 14:115.
  5. Fatani S, Dobson R, El-Aneed A.* Qualitative Exploration of the Education and Skill Needs of Community Pharmacists in Saskatoon Concerning Substance Use Disorder. In press, Accepted July 2018, Canadian Pharmacists Journal.
  6. Khamis M, Adamko D, and El-Aneed A.* Comparison of accuracy and precision between multipoint calibration, single point calibration and relative quantification for targeted metabolomic analysis. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2018, 410:5899-5913.
  7. Al-Dulaymi M, Michel D, Chitanda JM, Badea I, El-Aneed A.* The Development of Simple Flow Injection Analysis Tandem Mass Spectrometric Methods for the Cutaneous Determination of Peptide-Modified Cationic Gemini Surfactants Used as Gene Delivery Vectors. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 159,  2018: 536-547.
  8. Gachumi G and El-Aneed A.* Mass Spectrometric Approaches for the Analysis of Phytosterols in Biological Samples.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 65, 2017: 10141-10156.
  9. Khamis M, Adamko D, and El-Aneed A.* Development of a validated LC- MS/MS method for the quantification of 19 endogenous asthma/COPD potential urinary biomarkers. Analytica Chimica Acta. 989, 2017: 45-58.
  10. Mohammed-Saeid W, Michel D, Badea I, and El-Aneed A.* Rapid and Simple Flow Injection Analysis-Tandem Mass Spectrometric (FIA-MS/MS) Method for the Quantification of Melphalan in Lipid-Based Drug Delivery System. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 31, 2017: 1481–1490.
  11. Al‐Dulaymi M. and El-Aneed A.* Tandem Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Novel Peptide‐Modified Gemini Surfactants Used as Gene Delivery Vectors. Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 52, 2017: 353–366.
  12. Chitanda JM, Zhang H, Pahl E, Purves RW and El-Aneed A.* The Development of Novel Nanodiamond Based MALDI Matrices for the Analysis of Small Organic Pharmaceuticals. Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry. 27, 2016:1686-93.
  13. El-Aneed A.* Editorial. Is HPLC-MS/MS the “Gold Standard” for Quantitative Analysis? J Pharm Anal Insights 1(4), 2016: doi http://dx.doi.org/10.16966/ jpai.e104
  14. Willems J, Khamis M.M, Mohammed-Saeid W, Purves RW, Katselis G, Low N, El-Aneed A. * Analysis of a Series of Chlorogenic Acid Isomers using Differential Ion Mobility and Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Analytica Chimica Acta. 933, 2016: 164-174.
  15. Donkuru M, Michel D, Awad H; Katselis G; El-Aneed A.* Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry quantitative method for the cellular analysis of varying structures of gemini surfactants designed as nanomaterial drug carriers. Journal of Chromatography A. 1446, 2016: 114–124.
  16. Awad H, Das U, Dimmock J, El-Aneed A.* Establishment of Tandem Mass Spectrometric Fingerprint of Novel Antineoplastic Curcumin Analogues using Electrospray Ionization. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 29, 2015: 1307-1316.
  17. Michel D, Gaunt M, Arnason T, and El-AneedA.* Development and validation of fast and simple flow injection analysis-tandem mass spectrometry (FIA-MS/MS) for the determination of metformin in dog serum. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 107, 2015: 229-235.
  18. Awad H, Khamis M and El-Aneed A*. Mass spectrometry, review of the basics: ionization. Applied Spectroscopy Reviews. 50 (2) 2015: 158-175.