Characterization of the Chemical Composition of Aerosols concerning their Allergic Traits

Ms Nadine Gawlitta and Dr Jurgen Orasche
Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre (JMSC), University of Rostock & Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany

Date:   Wednesday, 10th April 2019
Time:   11:00 am 
Venue: The Avogadro, room 3-22, Chemistry Building
Enquiries: Prof Forbes, [email protected] 

In 2011 the JMSC introduced In‐situ Derivatization Thermal Desorption (IDTD) followed by
Gas Chromatography Time‐Of‐Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC‐TOF‐MS) for aerosol
characterization. The main advantage of IDTD‐GC‐MS is the possibility to determine particle
bound highly polar organic compounds like water soluble organic compounds and
secondary organic aerosols. For a better separation of the complex mixture of organic
compounds contained in ambient air, combustion aerosols, etc., we now combine the IDTD
with GCxGC‐TOF‐MS. An overview of aerosol characterization at the JMSC will be presented
followed by the application thereof in human health studies. As the number of people
suffering from allergies and asthma is increasing worldwide, research concerning allergy and
asthma development is of high importance, however it is not yet understood how allergies
develop and which substances play a major part in allergic sensitization. Allergy‐relevant
compounds are therefore to be chemically characterized via comprehensive twodimensional
gas chromatography‐time of flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC‐TOFMS). Besides
the characterization of potential allergy‐protective aerosols from farming environments
(e.g. cow stables), allergy‐adjuvant aerosols of fuel combustion are of great interest.
Combustion aerosols from different diesel fuels will thus be sampled in a platinum mine
with subsequent GCxGC‐TOFMS analysis. Additionally, Sioutas Cascade Impactors will be
used for sampling purposes to enable the differentiation of particulate matter sizes which is
relevant for conclusions concerning their entrance into different parts of the respiratory
tract. Finally, samples from different aerosol sources will be biologically evaluated via an air
liquid interface to combine chemical analysis with biological response thereby creating a
unified risk assessment for allergy‐adjuvant or‐protective aerosols.

Published by Anita Botha

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