3 years ago

Analysis of individual and total microcystins in surface water by on-line preconcentration and desalting coupled to liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

A fast and high-throughput method is proposed for the determination of total microcystins (ΣMC) in environmental surface waters. After a 1-h Lemieux-von Rudloff oxidation step to yield the 2-methyl-3-methoxy-4-phenylbutyric acid (MMPB) moiety, samples were quenched, filtered, and directly analyzed. This was achieved via solid phase extraction (SPE) coupled on-line to ultra-high performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization triple stage quadrupole mass spectrometry. The choice of on-line SPE settings was conducted using experimental designs. Given the matrix complexity of oxidation extracts, the on-line desalting step was found to be a critical parameter to ensure suitable method robustness. The on-line sample loading volume was 5mL, and the wash volume applied for on-line desalting was 3mL. Instrumental analysis was performed in just 8min. The method limit of quantification was 0.5ngL−1 ΣMC (i.e. 2000 times lower than the current World Health Organization − WHO drinking water guideline). Excellent determination coefficients were observed for matrix-free and matrix-based calibration curves alike, and the linearity range tested spanned4 orders of magnitude. Accuracy and intermediate precision did not depend on the spike level and proved satisfactory (in the range of 93–110% and 3–6%, respectively). A thorough assessment of instrumental matrix effects was conducted by comparing standard additions curves in several lake and river oxidation extracts with the matrix-free reference. Regardless of the internal standard used (4-PB or D3-MMPB), instrumental matrix effects were efficiently compensated. The matrix effect that may occur at the earlier sample preparation stage was evaluated separately. While the oxidation step was generally not complete (yield ∼65%), the conversion rates of MCs into MMPB remained within a consistent range of values regardless of matrix type. No significant back-pressure was observed upon consecutive injections of oxidation-based samples, while the instrumental sensitivity remained unaffected. The herein described method could therefore be eligible for future large-scale monitoring surveys. The method was applied to a selection of surface water samples (n=30) collected across the province of Québec, Canada, and the results were compared to those achieved by an individual variant analysis of 8 MC congeners and a commercial ELISA kit.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021967317311408

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