Determination of neonicotinoid insecticides in environmental samples by micellar electrokinetic chromatography using solid-phase treatments.

PMID 22997021


A sensitive and reliable method based on MEKC has been developed and validated for trace determination of neonicotinoid insecticides (thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, and imidacloprid) and the metabolite 6-chloronicotinic acid in water and soil matrices. Optimum separation of the neonicotinoid insecticides was obtained on a 58 cm long capillary (75 μm id) using as the running electrolyte 40 mM SDS, 5 mM borate (pH 10.4), and 5% (v/v) methanol at a temperature of 25°C, a voltage of 25 kV and with hydrodynamic injection (10 s). The analysis time was less than 7 min. Prior to MEKC determination, the samples were purified and enriched by carrying out extraction-preconcentration steps. For aqueous samples, off-line SPE with a sorptive material such as Strata-X (polymeric hydrophobic sorbent) and octadecylsilane (C₁₈) was carried out to clean up and preconcentrate the insecticides. However, for soil samples, matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD) was applied with C₁₈ used as the dispersant. Good linearity, accuracy, and precision were obtained and the detection limits were in the range between 0.01 and 0.07 μg mL⁻¹ for river water and 0.17 and 0.37 μg g⁻¹ for soil samples. Recovery levels reached greater than 92% for all of the assayed neonicotinoids in river water samples with Strata-X. In soil matrices, the best recoveries (63-99%) were obtained with MSPD.