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J Chromatogr A. 2012 Aug 24;1252:115-29. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2012.06.078. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

Direct analysis of pharmaceuticals, their metabolites and transformation products in environmental waters using on-line TurboFlow™ chromatography-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

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Department of Environmental Chemistry, IDAEA-CSIC, C/Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.


The work describes the development and validation of an analytical method for simultaneous determination of 58 pharmaceuticals and 19 metabolites and transformation products in environmental waters. The method is fully automated and consists of a direct injection of a small volume (several mL) of water sample to an on-line system composed of TurboFlow™ chromatography for the extraction and clean-up followed by liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry (TFC-LC-ESI-MS/MS). The feasibility and limitations of the technique in the analysis of environmental and wastewaters is discussed. The main advantages include high throughput, minimum sample manipulation, low error introduction, high selectivity, sensibility and reliability. The method provided a tool for the determination of a high number of active metabolites and transformation products and was successfully applied in the analysis of samples from the river Ebro basin.

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