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Automated sample treatment with the injection of large sample volumes for the determination of contaminants and metabolites in urine

Rodríguez-Gonzalo, Encarnación, García-Gómez, Diego, Herrero-Hernández, Eliseo, Carabias-Martínez, Rita
Journal of separation science 2010 v.33 no.15 pp. 2240-2249
automation, detection limit, filtration, freezing, herbicides, humans, insecticides, metabolites, pollutants, urine, washing
This work reports the development of a simple and automated method for the quantitative determination of several contaminants (triazine, phenylurea, and phenoxyacid herbicides; carbamate insecticides and industrial chemicals) and their metabolites in human urine with a simplified sample treatment. The method is based on the online coupling of an extraction column with RP LC separation-UV detection; this coupling enabled fast online cleanup of the urine samples, efficiently eliminating matrix components and providing appropriate selectivity for the determination of such compounds. The variables affecting the automated method were optimized: sorbent type, washing solvent and time, and the sample volume injected. The optimized sample treatment reported here allowed the direct injection of large volumes of urine (1500 μL) into the online system as a way to improve the sensitivity of the method; limits of detection in the 1-10 ng/mL range were achieved for an injected volume of 1500 μL of urine, precision being 10% or better at a concentration level of 20 ng/mL. The online configuration proposed has advantages such as automation (all the steps involved in the analysis - injection of the urine, sample cleanup, analyte enrichment, separation and detection - are carried out automatically) with high precision and sensitivity, reducing manual sample manipulation to freezing and sample filtration.