Evaluation and validation of methodologies for the extraction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in serum of birds and mammals
By Drew Szabo, Jaye Marchiandi, Mark P Green, Raoul A Mulder, and Bradley O Clarke
Anal Bioanal Chem
February 28, 2022
Advances in analytical techniques have allowed greater detection of environmental contaminants from small volumes of sample. Four methodologies were evaluated for the extraction of 53 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from eight classes in 200 µL of avian and mammal serum. Spiked serums at four concentrations (0, 0.5, 5.0 and 25 ng mL) were prepared by protein precipitation (PPT), enhanced matrix removal (EMR), weak anion exchange (WAX), and hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) solid-phase extraction cartridges. The extract from each methodology was analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS), and concentrations were compared with known concentrations in the spiked media. EMR performed the best overall, with 40 of 53 compounds effectively recovered at 5 ng mL. Furthermore, EMR was effective overall at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 25 ng mL for 39 out of 53. Similarly, PPT was effective for 35 of 53 compounds at all spiked serum concentrations. There was a negative correlation between internal standard recovery for compounds with increasing octanol-water coefficients (K) for WAX (R = - 0.65, p = 0.0043) and HLB (R = - 0.62, p = 0.0077) extractions, indicating methanol may not be a suitable solvent for long-chain PFAS extraction from protein-rich tissues. EMR and PPT represent fast and effective methodologies for the extraction of PFASs from low volumes of serum which allows greater accuracy and precision that can be applied to future human and wildlife biomonitoring programmes.