Laboratory Instrumentation, Equipment, and Software
Our laboratory develops and applies advanced analytical methods to answer public-health research questions. Instrumentation, equipment, and custom software in our laboratory that support this research are listed below.
- LC-Q/TOF MS: Liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry is used to perform non-targeted analysis of relatively polar contaminants and metabolites.
- GCxGC-TOF MS: Comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry is used to perform non-targeted analysis of relatively non-polar contaminants and metabolites.
- LC/MS/MS: Relatively polar molecules including some metabolites are quantified using liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry.
- GC/MS: Gas chromatography coupled to quadrupole mass spectrometry is used to quantify persistent organic pollutants and other relatively non-polar molecules.
- LC-ICP MS: Metals are quantified using liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
- Mercury Analyzer: Mercury is quantified on a specialized instrument.
Sample Preparation Equipment
- SPE: Solid phase extraction is used to isolate and concentrate molecules of interest from liquid matrices.
- PLE: Pressurized liquid extraction isolates molecules of interest from solid/semi-solid matrices.
- Microwave: Microwave extraction isolates molecules of interest from solid/semi-solid matrices.
- GPC: Gel permeation chromatography is used to separate molecules of interest from co-extracted lipids.
Many of our research projects require the development of custom software to process and summarize data. Most code is written in R or Python, and is publicly released. For example, custom software is used to:
- Analyze non-targeted mass spectrometry data to identify compounds and generate mass spectral libraries.
- Process quantitative mass spectrometry data to determine target compound concentrations and evaluate data quality objectives.
- Perform statistical analyses and generate scientific figures in a documented and reproducible manner.