Toward Comprehensive Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Annotation Using FluoroMatch Software and Intelligent High-Resolution Tandem Mass Spectrometry Acquisition
By eremy P. Koelmel, Matthew K. Paige, Juan J. Aristizabal-Henao, Nicole M. Robey, Sara L. Nason, Paul J. Stelben, Yang Li, Nicholas M. Kroeger, Michael P. Napolitano, Tina Savvaides, Vasilis Vasiliou, Pawel Rostkowski, Timothy J. Garrett, Elizabeth Lin, Chris Deigl, Karl Jobst, Timothy G. Townsend, Krystal J. Godri Pollitt*, and John A. Bowden
August 18, 2020
Thousands of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exist in the environment and pose a potential health hazard. Suspect and nontarget screening with liquid chromatography (LC)–high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HRMS/MS) can be used for comprehensive characterization of PFAS. To date, no automated open source PFAS data analysis software exists to mine these extensive data sets. We introduce FluoroMatch, which automates file conversion, chromatographic peak picking, blank feature filtering, PFAS annotation based on precursor and fragment masses, and annotation ranking. The software library currently contains ∼7 000 PFAS fragmentation patterns based on rules derived from standards and literature, and the software automates a process for users to add additional compounds. The use of intelligent data-acquisition methods (iterative exclusion) nearly doubled the number of annotations. The software application is demonstrated by characterizing PFAS in landfill leachate as well as in leachate foam generated to concentrate the compounds for remediation purposes. FluoroMatch had wide coverage, returning 27 PFAS annotations for landfill leachate samples, explaining 71% of the all-ion fragmentation (CF2)n related fragments. By improving the throughput and coverage of PFAS annotation, FluoroMatch will accelerate the discovery of PFAS posing significant human risk.