Determination of selected emerging contaminants in freshwater invertebrates using a universal extraction technique and liquid chromatography accurate mass spectrometry

Jalal T. Althakafy, Chadin Kulsing, Michael R. Grace, Philip J. Marriott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A simple sample preparation method based on a modified liquid-phase extraction approach to extract selected pharmaceuticals and personal care products from freshwater organisms is described. Extracted samples were analysed using liquid chromatography with Q-Exactive plus hybrid quadrupole Orbitrap mass spectrometry, using 2.6 μm C18 media. A 0.1% v/v acetic acid/acetonitrile mobile phase was applied over a 20 min gradient. Method detection limits in full scan mode were ca. 0.04–2.38 ng of analyte per g of sample. Linearity ranged from 0.9750 to 0.9996 over the calibration range of 0.01–100 μg/L; MS mass accuracy was <2 ppm for most analytes. This method was applied to quantify six pharmaceuticals and personal care products in seven invertebrate samples. For tandem mass spectrometry analysis, selection of precursor ions was performed for each pharmaceutical, with Mass Frontier software illustrating the fragmentation mechanism. Effects of collision energy on intensities of ions was further investigated. The tandem mass spectrometry condition resulting in the highest signal of respective selected product ion was selected to confirm each pharmaceutical, which was initially observed in the full scan mode. Results indicate that pharmaceuticals and personal care products found to be present in water-ways, may be incorporated into organisms that live in the environment of affected water streams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3706-3715
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Separation Science
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • freshwater invertebrates
  • liquid chromatography
  • personal care products
  • pharmaceuticals

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