Investigation of the anthropogenic Gadolinium (Gd) anomaly

Published on December 10, 2015

An elemental species is defined as a particular binding form or oxidation state of the element. The toxicity of a chemical element like Hg, Se or As is not dependent on the total elemental concentration, but rather on the concentration of its respective toxic species.


In order to access species information with high sensitivity and selectivity, hyphenated techniques with chromatographic separation and mass spectrometric detection are applied.

The concept of speciation analysis is presented for the example of gadolinium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, which are discharged in the aquatic environment via the wastewater. In this case, hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) is combined with electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) for species identification and inductively

Karst Research Group | University of Münster, Germany

Uwe Karst is Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Münster in Germany. His research interests focus on hyphenated analytical techniques and their (bio)medical and pharmaceutical applications, including elemental speciation analysis, metallomics, mass spectrometric imaging and electrochemistry/MS.

Dr. Michael Sperling is a scientific researcher in the Karst group and Chief Managing Director of the European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis (EVISA) at the University of Münster. His interest is focused on speciation analysis and the development of hyphenated techniques.

Dr. Marvin Birka has finished his PhD in the Karst group in October 2015. The main focus of his research was based on the speciation and quantification of gadolinium-based contrast agents in wastewater, surface water and drinking water. Furthermore, he studied the photodegradation of commonly occurring gadolinium species.

Maria Viehoff is a PhD student of the Karst group. Her research is focused on the development of novel quantification techniques for iodine species. Furthermore, she investigates the stability of iodine-based contrast agents during advanced oxidation processes.

Birka M., Wehe C.A., Telgmann L., Sperling M. and Karst U.: Sensitive quantification of gadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents in surface waters using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 2013, 1308,125-131, DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2013.08.017. Epub 2013 Aug 8

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