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Development and validation of an in situ high-resolution technique for measuring antibiotics in sediments

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Yanying Li
  • Qiuyu Rong
  • Chao Han
  • Hanbing Li
  • Jun Luo
  • Liying Yan
  • Degao Wang
  • Kevin C. Jones
  • Hao Zhang
Article number133551
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/03/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Hazardous Materials
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/02/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Important biogeochemical processes occur in sediments at fine scales. Sampling techniques capable of yielding information with high resolution are therefore needed to investigate chemical distributions and fluxes and to elucidate key processes affecting chemical fates. In this study, a high-resolution diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) technique was systematically developed and tested in a controlled sediment system to measure organic contaminants, antibiotics, for the first time. The DGT probe was used to resolve compound distributions at the mm scale. It also reflected the fluxes from the sediment pore-water and remobilization from the solid phase, providing more dynamic information. Through the fine scale detection, a reduction of re-supply was observed over time, which was concentration and location dependent. Compared to the Rhizon sampling method, antibiotic concentrations obtained by DGT probes were less than the pore-water concentrations, as DGT measures the labile fraction of the compounds. The DGT probe was also tested on an intact sediment core sampled from a lake in China and used to measure the distribution of labile antibiotics with depth in the core at the mm scale. Environmental Implication The abuse of antibiotics and widespread of their residues influences the ecosystem, induces the generation of super-bacteria, and finally poses threat to human health. Sediments adsorbs pollutants from the aquatic environment, while may also release them back to the environment. We systematically developed DGT probe approach for measuring antibiotics in sediment in situ in high resolving power, it provides information at fine scale to help us investigate biogeochemical processes take place in sediment and sediment-water interface.