Comprehensive Chemical Analysis of Small Molecules in Aerosols and Biological Systems

This work package has its focus on the comprehensive chemical analysis. This is, on the one hand the characterisation of the chemical composition of the different compartments of the aerosol. On the other hand it is the investigation of the impact of chemically and physically well-characterised aerosols on biological test systems and their potential health effects. Therefore, the changes in the pattern of small molecules in biological test systems caused by the impact of aerosols will be investigated.

Within HICE, a profound knowledge in terms of chemical analysis of organic constituents of aerosols is available. A broad spectrum of mass spectrometric and chromatographic techniques is established (LC, GC, TOFMS, FTMS, MALDI imaging). Much research work has been done to facilitate the quantitative analysis of large time series and the analysis of selected marker compounds. Over the last years concepts for a comprehensive chemical profiling (GCxGC) and isotopic labelling “non-targeted tracer fate detection (NTFD)” have been established and applied to environmental and/or biological applications. The NTFD concept is applied to cell cultures to investigate the effects of aerosols to biological systems. In a second step the NTFD methodology is combined with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC).

In order to uncover the complex chemical composition of aerosol matrices provided by WP I as well as the biological system used in WP II targeted and non-targeted methodologies are applied. FTMS and IRMS systems are used for marker identification and chemical profiling of aerosols and biological systems. In close cooperation with WP I and IV, special data evaluation tools will be elaborated. To identify similarities and correlations between gas and particle phase species and their potential interactions, analytical results are examined and interpreted in conjunction with on-line data from WP I.