Statistical procedures for the determination of linearity, detection limits and measurement uncertainty: a deeper look into SPE-LC-Orbitrap mass spectrometry of pharmaceuticals in wastewater

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  • Leendert Vergeynst
  • Kenneth K'oreje
  • ,
  • Patrick De Wispelaere
  • ,
  • Lies Harinck
  • ,
  • Herman Van Langenhove
  • ,
  • Kristof Demeestere
This research addresses some critical challenges regarding the validation of a quantitative multi-residue method for pharmaceuticals in wastewater making use of modern SPE-LC-Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry. Particular attention is given to study in detail response linearity, to realistically estimate detection limits, and to express the measurement precision of the analyte concentration, obtained by external calibration. First, linearity of the Orbitrap response showed to be matrix dependent in a counter intuitive way: stronger deviations from linearity were observed for pure solvent standards than for complex matrices like wastewater. Second, detection limits risk to be overestimated for ubiquitously present compounds for which true blank matrix samples are hard to find, leading to false negative findings. A novel and easy applicable methodology is presented to allow a better estimation of detection limits using the response of the natural isotopes. Third, a statistical methodology to estimate the measurement precision of the analyte concentration using basic validation parameters is developed specifically for the context of multi-residue quantification.
TidsskriftJournal of Hazardous Materials
Sider (fra-til)2-10
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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