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New article in The Analytical Scientist – The Softly-Softly Approach

Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 11:14:AM

The Softly-Softly Approach - Article in The Analytical ScientistsThe April edition of The Analytical Scientist features an article by Laura McGregor et al. (Markes), Anthony Gravell (Natural Resources Wales) and Graham Mills (University of Portsmouth) and Ian Allan (Norwegian Institute for Water Research) entitled “The Softly-Softly Approach”.

In 2014, Select-eV took a top spot in The Analytical Scientist Innovation Awards (TASIAs). In this article, the technology is teamed up with GCxGC–TOF MS in an unusual international environmental monitoring project.

The collaborative project, between Markes, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the University of Portsmouth and the Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA), started by monitoring pollutants in river water, using a passive sampling device composed of a thin polyethylene film containing a lipid, which concentrates contaminants over long periods of time.
Gravell et al. then used this methodology to study a situation that could potentially mimic this absorption process, when humans are exposed to environmental pollutants – silicone breast implants.

The article describes the analytical challenges involved in this study: The separation and detection of ultra-trace level contaminants in such complex matrices – successfully achieved by GCxGC–TOF MS – and the problem of extreme mass spectral fragmentation (when using 70 eV electron ionisation), addressed by Markes’ Select-eV soft electron ionisation technology. The authors use the detected polycyclic musk compounds, Galaxolide and Tonalide, along with the pesticide DDE, and Propofol, an anaesthetic used during surgery, to demonstrate the enhanced confidence in identification of these trace-level compounds when using soft EI.

The whole article “The Softly-Softly Approach” can be downloaded here.

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