Solid Phase Microextraction with Polystyrene-Poly(dimethylsiloxane) block copolymers
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of molecules whose planar structure allows the formation of adducts between the PAHs and DNA leading to a carcinogenic effect1. PAHs are environmentally persistent, so they can result in health problems for susceptible organisms. Since water is a natural transport mechanism the ability to monitor PAH concentrations in waters is a necessary component of modeling PAH in the environment.
PAH concentration in water is extremely low due to its hydrophobic nature making it difficult to detect. Solid phase microextraction (SPME) used by the EPA in Method 8272 to detect PAHs in sediment pore water2, can lower detection limits for standard analytic techniques by concentrating organic solutes from solution. Detection limits can be lowered by a factor equal to the partition coefficient (K).
Schlaus, A., & Lyons, Advisor, R. (2015). Solid Phase Microextraction with Polystyrene-Poly(dimethylsiloxane) block copolymers (Undergraduate honors thesis, University of Redlands). Retrieved from https://inspire.redlands.edu/cas_honors/126