An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for oxidative stress biomarker analysis in wastewater

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Reported herein is the development of an analytical method for the detection of four oxidative stress biomarkers in wastewater using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) and solid phase extraction (SPE). The following four biomarkers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation have been investigated: hydroxynonenal-mercapturic acid (HNE-MA), 8-iso-prostglandin F2beta (8-iso-PGF 2β), 8-nitroguanine (8-NO 2Gua) and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). The method showed very good performance: accuracy (> 87%), precision (> 90%), method quantification limits (1.3-3.0 ng L -1) and biomarker stability in wastewater in the case of HNE-MA, 8-OHdG and 8-iso-PGF 2β. In contrast, 8-NO 2Gua was found to be less stable in wastewater, which affected its method performance: accuracy (> 63%), precision (> 91%) and method quantification limits (85.3 ng L -1). Application of the developed method resulted in, for the first time, HNE-MA being successfully observed and quantified within wastewater over a study period of a week (displayed average daily loads per capita of 48.9 ± 4.1 mg/1000/people/day). 8-iso-PGF 2β was detected with good intensity but could not be quantified due to co-elution with other isomers. 8-OHdG was detected, albeit at < MQL. This study demonstrates the potential for expanding on the possible endogenous biomarkers of health used in urban water fingerprinting to aid in measuring health in near-real time on a community-wide scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2261-2271
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number11
Early online date23 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2019


  • Acetylcysteine/analysis
  • Aldehydes/analysis
  • Biomarkers/analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid/methods
  • Deoxyguanosine/analogs & derivatives
  • Guanine/analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Prostaglandins F/analysis
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry/methods
  • Waste Water/analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis

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