Measuring occurrence and fate of drugs in aquatic species using high resolution analytical techniques: potential for human exposure?

Theme: Environmental Pollution

Main Supervisor:

Leon Barron

Analytical & Environmental Sciences, KCL

Second Supervisor:

Rakesh Kanda

The Institute for the Environment, BRUNEL

Project Description:

Recently, aquatic species such as invertebrates and fish have been shown to contain ng/g quantities of pharmaceutical residues, which have been exposed through contaminated waters. However, analytical methods are usually restricted to small numbers of pre-selected compounds, which is likely to under-represent the scope and degree of contamination. The aim of this PhD project is to develop advanced extraction and liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry-based approaches for full data-capture “semi-targeted” analysis for the identification of larger numbers of drugs in such species. In a bottom-up approach, identified compounds from analysis of environmental specimens will then be used to assess bioconcentration in laboratory exposure trials. The potential for human exposure through dietary intake of seafood will be investigated. As part of this, a range of preparation and cooking methods will be considered and their effects on drug or metabolite concentration determined.

Policy Impact of Research:

Better understanding the broad-scope occurrence and fate of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in aquatic organisms using high resolution analysis will have impacts on environmental and ecosystem preservation as well as food safety.


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