High throughput online solid phase extraction-ultra high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters, perfluoroalkyl phosphonates, and other perfluoroalkyl substances in human serum, plasma, and whole blood
A rapid, sensitive and reliable method was developed for the determination of a broad range of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in various blood matrices (serum, plasma, and whole blood), and uses only 50 μL of sample material. The method consists of a rapid protein precipitation by methanol followed by high throughput online solid phase extraction (SPE), ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS), and negative electrospray ionization detection. The method was developed for simultaneous determination of twenty-five PFASs, including polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs; 6:2, 8:2, 6:2/6:2, and 8:2/8:2), perfluoroalkyl phosphonates (PFPAs; C6, C8, and C10), perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs; C4, C6, C7, C8, and C10), perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs; C5C14), and perfluoroalkyl sulfonamides (FOSAs; C8, N-methyl, and N-ethyl). High linearity of matrix-matched calibration standards (correlation coefficients, R = 0.99-0.999) were obtained in the range of 0.006-45 ng mL(-1) blood. Excellent sensitivity was achieved with method detection limits (MDLs) between 0.0018 and 0.09 ng mL(-1), depending on the compound and matrix. The method was validated for serum, plasma, and whole blood (n = 5 + 5) at six levels in the range 0.0180-30 ng mL(-1). The accuracy (n = 5) was on average 102± 12%. The intermediate precision (n = 10) ranged from 2 to 40% with an average between-batch of analyses difference of 10± 10%. Two human serum samples from a former interlaboratory comparison were analyzed and the differences between the applied method and the consensus values were below ≤22% (n = 5). The method was also successfully applied to samples of human plasma and whole blood with coefficients of variation in the range 0.8-15.2% (n = 5).