Continuous fraction collection of gas chromatographic separations with parallel mass spectrometric detection applied to cell-based bioactivity analysis

Willem Jonker, Nick Zwart, Jan B. Stockl, Sjaak de Koning, Jaap Schaap, Marja H. Lamoree, Govert W. Somsen, Timo Hamers, Jeroen Kool

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We describe the development and evaluation of a GC-MS fractionation platform that combines high-resolution fraction collection of full chromatograms with parallel MS detection. A y-split at the column divides the effluent towards the MS detector and towards an inverted y-piece where vaporized trap solvent is infused. The latter flow is directed outside the GC oven allowing subsequent condensation and stepwise collection of liquid fractions with trapped analytes on a 384-well plate. For study and optimization of the effluent split ratio, restriction capillaries of different lengths and diameters were evaluated. For a wide range of settings, local pressures were monitored during fractionation to assess the influence of MS vacuum and trap solvent infusion on the GC system stability. The platform performance was evaluated by GC-MS analysis and continuous fractionation of an n-alkane mixture followed by GC analysis of each fraction. Comparison of the on-line recorded and fraction-reconstructed chromatogram showed the GC separation is maintained during fractionation. Multiple fractionation cycles of the n-alkane sample on the same 384-well plate yielded a reconstructed chromatogram which was highly similar to that of a single analysis, demonstrating the high repeatability. The applicability of the GC-MS-fractionation platform for bioactivity screening was investigated by applying the AR-Ecoscreen reporter gene bioassay on fractions obtained after analysis of standard solutions and dust samples containing the anti-androgenic compounds vinclozolin and p,p’-DDE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2017


  • Anti-androgens
  • Fractionation
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Reporter gene assay
  • Split ratio

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