On-line dynamic extraction system hyphenated to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry for automatic determination of oral bioaccessible trace metal fractions in airborne particulate matter


For a realistic evaluation of the potential hazard emanating from airborne particulate matter (APM), the determination of the total inhaled metal amounts associated with APM is insufficient in risk assessment. Additional information about metal fractions that can be mobilized by the human body is necessary, because only those soluble (also called bioaccessible) fractions can be absorbed by the human body, and thus potentially cause adverse health effects. In the present study, a dynamic flow-through approach as a front end to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) exploiting advanced flow analysis is employed for on-line handling of multiple APM samples and determination of bioaccessible trace metals under worst case extraction scenarios. The method is based on on-line continuous extraction of filter samples with synthetic gastric fluid followed by on-line ICP-OES measurement of the dissolved fraction of trace metals. The assembly permits an automated successive measurement of three sample replicates in less than 19 min. The on-line extraction procedure offers increased sample throughput and reduced risk of sample contamination and overcomes metal re-adsorption processes compared to the traditional batch-wise counterparts. Furthermore, it provides deeper information on the kinetics of the leaching process. The developed procedure was applied to the determination of bioaccessible metal fractions (Al, Ba, Cu, Fe and Mn as model analytes) in PM10 samples from Palma de Mallorca (Spain) and Vienna (Austria).

On-line gastric bioaccessibility of elements in airborne particulate matter

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V.M. wants to thank the TU Wien for providing a travelling grant for a research stay at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain in the period May-July 2012. M.M. acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) through projects CTM2014-56628-C3-3-R and CTM2014-61553-EXP. The authors are grateful to Dr. David Cocovi-Solberg for the loan of the Cocosoft software.

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Correspondence to Manuel Miró or Andreas Limbeck.

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Mohr, V., Miró, M. & Limbeck, A. On-line dynamic extraction system hyphenated to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry for automatic determination of oral bioaccessible trace metal fractions in airborne particulate matter. Anal Bioanal Chem 409, 2747–2756 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-017-0219-8

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  • Airborne particulate matter
  • Bioaccessibility
  • Gastric fluid
  • Flow analysis
  • Metal
  • Inductively coupled plasma spectrometry