Superfund Research Program
Discovery of Xenobiotics Associated with Preterm Birth
Project Leader: Roger W. Giese
Grant Number: P42ES017198
Funding Period: 2010-2020
Giese and his team of researchers set up a new method for homogenizing tissue, and applied it to human placenta. This method takes advantage of a low cost food homogenizer. The research team interfaced this technique to their new method for a QuEChERS-like extraction (this latter extraction technique was reported and published in 2017), and found it to be successful in preparing a nontargeted extract from placenta that was compatible with GC-MS technology (many compounds are extracted without fouling the GC column). In collaboration with Agilent, the extract was subjected to GC-QTOF for screening pesticides (there were 76 hits) and GC-QQQ for confirmation (9 compounds were identified). The researchers found that the ionic tag developed in this project is especially useful in the satellite assay for DNA adducts when an UPLC-Orbitrap mass spectrometer is employed, since now RNA and DNA species can readily be distinguished. A noninvasive breath test, based on the research team's ionic tag, has been designed and is under development. This has opened up new collaborations, including with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Air Force. Three grant applications are pending on this breath test (two concern pregnancy monitoring), and a grant has been received from the Partnership for Clean Competition. A regular patent application has been issued on the ionic tag invention (Giese and Wang, 2018), and one is about to issue on the tea bag extraction invention (Giese et al., 2018). The research team expanded their family of ionic tags from one to six.