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Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Sep 3;47(17):9833-40. doi: 10.1021/es4022987. Epub 2013 Aug 21.

Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) with stable isotope calibration for measuring bioavailability of hydrophobic organic contaminants.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California , Riverside, California 92521, United States.


Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) is a biomimetic tool ideally suited for measuring bioavailability of hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) in sediment and soil matrices. However, conventional SPME sampling requires the attainment of equilibrium between the fiber and sample matrix, which may take weeks or months, greatly limiting its applicability. In this study, we explored the preloading of polydimethylsiloxane fiber with stable isotope labeled analogs (SI-SPME) to circumvent the need for long sampling time, and evaluated the performance of SI-SPME against the conventional equilibrium SPME (Eq-SPME) using a range of sediments and conditions. Desorption of stable isotope-labeled analogs and absorption of PCB-52, PCB-153, bifenthrin and cis-permethrin were isotropic, validating the assumption for SI-SPME. Highly reproducible preloading was achieved using acetone-water (1:4, v/v) as the carrier. Compared to Eq-SPME that required weeks or even months, the fiber concentrations (Cf) under equilibrium could be reliably estimated by SI-SPME in 1 day under agitated conditions or 20 days under static conditions in spiked sediments. The Cf values predicted by SI-SPME were statistically identical to those determined by Eq-SPME. The SI-SPME method was further applied successfully to field sediments contaminated with PCB 52, PCB 153, and bifenthrin. The increasing availability of stable isotope labeled standards and mass spectrometry nowadays makes SI-SPME highly feasible, allowing the use of SPME under nonequilibrium conditions with much shorter or flexible sampling time.

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