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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 2010, Article ID 972926, 13 pages
Research Article

New Automated and High-Throughput Quantitative Analysis of Urinary Ketones by Multifiber Exchange-Solid Phase Microextraction Coupled to Fast Gas Chromatography/Negative Chemical-Electron Ionization/Mass Spectrometry

1Occupational Health Division, Department of Public Health, Viale Morgagni 48, University of Florence, 50100 Florence, Italy
2CNR-Istitute of Molecular Science and Technologies, Corso Stati Uniti 4, 35100 Padova, Italy
3Chromline Srl, Via Anita Garibaldi 40, 59100 Prato, Italy
4Organic Chemistry Department/ProtEra Srl (Spin Off of Magnetic Resonance Center), Via Lastruccia 13, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019 Florence, Italy
5Department of Chemical, Environmental and Raw Materials Engineering (DICAMP), Piazzale Europa 1, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Received 16 December 2009; Accepted 12 April 2010

Academic Editor: Peter B. Stockwell

Copyright © 2010 Marco Pacenti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present research is focused on automation, miniaturization, and system interaction with high throughput for multiple and specific Direct Immersion-Solid Phase Microextraction/Fast Gas Chromatography analysis of the urinary ketones. The specific Mass Spectrometry instrumentation, capable of supporting such the automated changeover from Negative Chemical to Electron Ionization mode, as well as the automation of the preparation procedure by new device called MultiFiber Exchange, through change of the fibers, allowed a friendly use of mass spectrometry apparatus with a number of advantages including reduced analyst time and greater reproducibility (2.01–5.32%). The detection limits for the seven ketones were less than 0.004 mg/L. For an innovative powerful meaning in high-throughput routine, the generality of the structurally informative Mass Spectrometry fragmentation patterns together with the chromatographic separation and software automation are also investigated.