Volume 15, Issue 2 p. 240-246
SHORT COMMUNICATION

Optimization, validation and application of a high-throughput 96-well elution protocol for the quantification of psychoactive substances in influent wastewater

Tim Boogaerts

Corresponding Author

Tim Boogaerts

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium

Correspondence

Tim Boogaerts, Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.

Email: [email protected]

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Maarten Quireyns

Maarten Quireyns

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium

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Florence Maes

Florence Maes

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium

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Maria Laimou-Geraniou

Maria Laimou-Geraniou

Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Natan Van Wichelen

Natan Van Wichelen

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium

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Ester Heath

Ester Heath

Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Bram Pussig

Bram Pussig

Academic Centre for General Practice, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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Bert Aertgeerts

Bert Aertgeerts

Academic Centre for General Practice, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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Adrian Covaci

Adrian Covaci

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium

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Alexander L. N. van Nuijs

Alexander L. N. van Nuijs

Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium

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First published: 19 October 2022

Tim Boogaerts and Maarten Quireyns joint first author.

Funding information: European Union's Justice Programme-Drugs Policy Initiatives, Grant/Award Number: 861602; Research Agency of Republic of Slovenia (ARRS), Grant/Award Numbers: P1-0143, N1-0143; Research Scientific Foundation Flanders, Grant/Award Number: G060920N

Abstract

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is based on the analysis of human metabolic excretion products (biomarkers) of xenobiotics in wastewater, to gain information about various lifestyles and health aspects of a population in an evidence-based manner. Due to the complex wastewater matrix and trace level occurrence of human biomarkers in the sewage network, it is crucial to have sensitive analytical procedures available. Additionally, to improve the value of WBE as a complementary epidemiological source, there is increasing pressure on the analysis of more compounds, more locations and more samples. A high-throughput method based on 96-well Oasis MCX solid-phase extraction (SPE), requiring less influent wastewater (2 mL), was developed in accordance with the European Medicines Agency guidelines. Validation was successful for 28 parent drugs and metabolites of antidepressants, opioids and drugs of abuse. The selection of biomarkers and quantification limit was chosen to be relevant for WBE and was predominantly 10 ng/L or below. The final method was successfully applied to 24-h composite samples of October 2019 (n = 27), obtained from an urban wastewater treatment plant in Leuven (Belgium).

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

Data available in article supplementary material.