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Solid Phase Mesh Enhanced Sorption from Headspace (SPMESH) Coupled to DART-MS for Rapid Quantification of Trace-Level Volatiles

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journal contribution
posted on 02.08.2016, 00:00 by Jillian A. Jastrzembski, Gavin L. Sacks
Quantitation of trace-level (μg/L to ng/L) volatile compounds is routinely performed in a broad range of applications, including analyses of odorants, pesticide residues, or toxins in foodstuffs and related matrices. Conventional analyses based on gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) are limited by low throughput, and ambient approaches to sample introduction have typically had poor sensitivity. We prepared polydimethylsiloxane-coated stainless steel meshes for extraction and preconcentration of volatiles (Solid Phase Mesh Enhanced Sorption from Headspace, SPMESH), which could then be analyzed by Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART)-MS. The SPMESH cards were characterized by electron microscopy, and figures of merit for the approach were determined using two representative volatiles: 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine (IBMP) and linalool. Using DART-MS/MS and isotopically labeled internal standards, we achieved detection limits of 21 ng/L and 71 μg/L for IBMP and linalool in water. Good accuracy and precision could also be achieved for IBMP spikes in grape macerate, although accuracy for linalool was compromised by the presence of interferences. Detection limits could be further improved by an order of magnitude through the use of high resolution (HR) MS. Because extraction can be performed inexpensively in parallel and because it requires short data acquisition times (<1 min), SPMESH-DART-MS may be appropriate for high throughput trace level volatile analyses.