Combination of thin-layer chromatography, bioassays and mass spectrometry for detecting micropollutants in complex samples
Water and food may contain mixtures of chemicals whose toxicity is difficult to assess with conventional analytical methods. Effect-based methods can be of help. They allow the highly sensitive detection of the responsible substances when coupled with high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) and high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS). With HPTLC, the mixtures are separated and bioassays are used to determine the bands that contain potentially toxic substances. These are subsequently characterized with LC-HRMS/MS. The project is promoting this new combination method for the detection of estrogens and genotoxicity. Real samples such as packaging material, drinking water and environmental water (groundwater, surface water) are characterized.