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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Separation, detection and characterization of engineered nanoparticles in natural waters using hydrodynamic chromatography and multi-method detection (light scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation and single particle ICP-MS)

Kim Proulx, Kevin Wilkinson


Few analytical techniques are presently able to detect and quantify engineered nanoparticles (ENP) in the environment. The major challenges result from the complex matrices of environmental samples and the low concentrations at which the ENP are expected to be found. Separation techniques such as asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) and more recently, hydrodynamic chromatography (HDC) have been used to partly resolve ENP from their complex environmental matrices. In this paper, HDC was first coupled to light scattering detectors in order to develop a method that would allow the separation and detection of ENP spiked into a natural water. Size fractionated samples were characterized using off-line detectors including analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS). HDC was able to separate a complex mixture of polystyrene, silver and gold nanoparticles (radii of 60, 40, 20 and 10 nm) contained within a river water matrix. Furthermore, the feasibility of using HDC coupled to SP-ICP-MS was demonstrated by detecting 4 µg L-1 of a 20 nm (radius) nAg in a river water sample.

EN13232  Accepted 02 May 2014
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