Applications of Membrane Extraction with a Sorbent Interface
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Membrane extraction with a sorbent interface (MESI) is a sample preparation technique with a rugged and simple design allowing for solvent-free, on-line performance. When coupled to gas chromatography (GC), MESI is an extremely promising tool for the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as it is selective and sensitive for detecting trace levels of analytes. A new calibration method to be used with the MESI technique is presented herein. The aim of this project was to characterize and quantify the biomarker ethylene in human breath and plant emissions. The MESI-GC system was optimized, and an external calibration curve for ethylene standard was obtained. Qualitative measures were obtained from emissions of the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The dominant calibration method was validated by examining changes in mass transfer trends when flow and temperature conditions were altered. Finally, the dominant calibration method was used to quantify ethylene in real human breath samples from non-smoking and smoking volunteers. Results were consistent with those reported in literature. These findings suggest that the dominant calibration technique is a useful tool for monitoring ethylene in human breath and Arabidopsis.