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Your Environment. Your Health.

University of Iowa

Superfund Research Program

Analytical Core

Project Leader: Keri C. Hornbuckle
Co-Investigator: Hans-Joachim Lehmler
Grant Number: P42ES013661
Funding Period: 2006-2024

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Project Summary (2006-2010)

The Analytical Core provides routine and non-routine analytical service to the University of Iowa SBRP. The core provides expert staff, equipment, and instrumentation to meet Program goals. Core staff develop analytical and quality control/assurance standards. In close collaboration with the Synthesis Core, which is responsible for acquiring and archiving individual compound standards and preparing stock solutions, the Analytical Core develops the mathematical methods for congener representation, analyzes single congener solutions for purity assessment and quality control, and tests the prepared standard solutions against certified Standard Reference Materials, including PCB calibration mixtures. The research team helps with the development of a mixture of PCB congeners for laboratory animal exposure studies. The Analytical Core develops the mathematical methods to design the exposure mixture and tests the prepared mixture against certified Standard Reference Materials. A primary function of this team is the analysis of environmental and laboratory samples for a suite of PCB congeners (>120). The Analytical Core extracts and analyzes PCBs on a congener-specific basis. Applying the primary calibration standard, samples are quantified by the isotope dilution method and the internal standard method. Internal Standards and Surrogate Recovery Standards developed in this Program are used to precisely determine PCB concentrations in samples. Methods for analysis on a congener-specific basis are assessed using performance standard injections and analysis of certified Standard Reference Materials. Some analyses are performed on the entire suite of PCB congeners, including laboratory animals exposed to the mixture and including blood from humans and non-laboratory animals. Other samples are analyzed for specific congeners and metabolites in support of investigators focused on congener-specific toxicology. Additionally, Core staff extract, identify, and quantify unknown metabolites. The Analytical Core determines purity of synthesized metabolites and associated analytical standards, then analyzes for hydroxylated PCBs and other PCB metabolites. As requested by the SBRP investigators, the Analytical Core also trains personnel and assist in sampling design and implementation. In support of all these activities, the investigators design and maintain a database system. A redundant storage architecture with automatic backup and password protection are used to allow investigators to download data and reports produced by the Analytical Core.

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