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J Chromatogr A. 2002 Sep 20;971(1-2):37-45.

Column-switching system with restricted access pre-column packing for an integrated sample cleanup and liquid chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of alkylphenolic compounds and steroid sex hormones in sediment.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Chemistry, IIQAB-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain.


A novel methodology based on column switching LC-MS, using restricted access material (RAM), for an integrated sample clean-up and analysis of endocrine disrupting compounds in sediment samples is described. The use of RAM precolumns, that combines size exclusion and reversed-phase retention mechanisms, enables fast on-line clean-up of sediment extracts and sensitive determination of alkylphenolic compounds, bisphenol A and steroid sex hormones at low ppb level (LODs=0.5-5 ng/g). Different LiChrospher ADS RAM precolumns (Merck, Germany) with C4, C8 and C18, respectively, modification of inner pore surface were tested. ADS C4 precolumns gave the best results in terms of recovery, selectivity and sensitivity, eliminating efficiently matrix components and consequently reducing ion suppression effects. Except for the most polar compounds, all compounds exhibit complete recovery with RSD from 0.87 to 15%. A complete analysis, including efficient pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) of target compounds, on-line clean-up, chromatographic separation and MS detection takes approximately 2 h, which is a significant improvement in comparison to the methods reported previously.

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