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Picogram determination of estrogens in water using large volume injection gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Hu, Ruikang, Zhang, Lifeng, Yang, Zhaoguang
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2008 v.390 no.1 pp. 349-359
derivatization, detection limit, estrone, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, temperature
In this study, a simple and efficient large volume injection gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method, via a programmable-temperature vaporizer (PTV) inlet, has been developed and applied in the determination of estrogens in environmental water samples without a prior derivatization process. Three commonly used estrogens estrone, 17 β-estradiol and 17 α-ethynylestradiol were selected as target compounds for this study. It has been demonstrated that the type of gas chromatograph liner and the initial inlet temperature can greatly affect the response intensity of estrogens. Three different types of PTV liners have been studied; the multibaffle liner generated the strongest response intensities towards the estrogen analytes. The results showed that the response intensities of estrogens reduced sharply while the initial inlet temperature increased. Various instrument conditions and sample preparation methods were studied in detail. The optimized method has been validated with good linearity, precision and accuracy. The method detection limit of each estrogen was found to be 0.041 ng/L for estrone, 0.046 ng/L for 17 β-estradiol and 0.031 ng/L for 17 α-ethynylestradiol. To the best of our knowledge, these results represent the best sensitivities achieved for estrogens analyzed in water samples via traditional GC-MS method without a derivatization process. This method has been successfully applied in the analyses of different water samples.