Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Comprehensive profiling and semi-quantification of exogenous chemicals in human urine using HRMS-based strategies

Gutierrez-Martin, Daniel; Restrepo-Montes, Esteban; Golovko, Oksana; Lopez-Serna, Rebeca; Aalizadeh, Reza; Thomaidis, Nikolaos S.; Marques, Montse; Gago-Ferrero, Pablo; Gil-Solsona, Ruben


Chemicals infiltrate our daily experiences through multiple exposure pathways. Human biomonitoring (HBM) is routinely used to comprehensively understand these chemical interactions. Historically, HBM depended on targeted screening methods limited to a relatively small set of chemicals with triple quadrupole instruments typically. However, recent advances in high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) have facilitated the use of broad-scope target, suspect, and non-target strategies, enhancing chemical exposome characterization within acceptable detection limits. Despite these advancements, establishing robust and efficient sample treatment protocols is still essential for trustworthy broad-range chemical analysis. This study sought to validate a methodology leveraging HRMS-based strategies for accurate profiling of exogenous chemicals and related metabolites in urine samples. We evaluated five extraction protocols, each encompassing various chemical classes, such as pharmaceuticals, plastic additives, personal care products, and pesticides, in terms of their extraction recoveries, linearity, matrix effect, sensitivity, and reproducibility. The most effective protocol was extensively validated and subsequently applied to 10 real human urine samples using wide-scope target analysis encompassing over 2000 chemicals. We successfully identified and semi-quantified a total of 36 chemicals using an ionization efficiency-based model, affirming the methodology's robust performance. Notably, our results dismissed the need for a deconjugation step, a typically labor-intensive and time-consuming process.


Human biomonitoring (HBM); Non-target; Method validation; High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS); Deconjugation; Glucuronides

Published in

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
2023, Volume: 415, number: 29-30, pages: 7297–7313

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Analytical Chemistry

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)