Development of DGT for assessment of micro-organic pollutants in water using in vitro CALUX analyses

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In this research, the technique of DGT as a sampling method for E2 detection and bioanalytical quantification was developed whereby sample extracts were analysed with the estrogen CALUX bioassay.

In a first part of the study, the validation of the CALUX method was carried out. To accomplish this, different organic solvents were tested and displayed an influence on the E2 response with CALUX. The same conclusion could be drawn for Milli Q water, used as water matrix in all tests. Given these results, careful experimental design has to be taken into account to limit bias in results.

In addition, all different components from a DGT sampler (filter, diffusive gel and piston) were tested in spiked E2 solutions to check if these components have high affinity towards E2, thereby skewing our results and restricting clear interpretation of results. None of the key components making up a DGT sampler showed affinity towards E2.

The capacity of the resin gel was tested at different concentration levels of E2 and a linear increasing trend of absorbed mass on the gel was observed along with the increasing concentrations. An elution factor was also determined at different concentration levels.

Further research is needed to fully test the technique and include determination of the diffusion coefficient, influence of pH, and also ionic strength. Nevertheless, the preliminary results are a very good starting ground and show that the novel developed method contains strong potential as a tool for further research work of DGT sampling for organic pollutants in aquatic environments.
Date of Award11 Sep 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
SupervisorYue Gao (Promotor) & Kersten Van Langenhove (Co-promotor)


  • DGT
  • E2
  • Validation
  • XAD18
  • Recovery
  • Capacity
  • Diffusion coefficient

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