Laser fluorimetry: subpicogram detection of aflatoxins using high-pressure liquid chromatography

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Science  24 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4297, pp. 1439-1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.867038


The use of high-pressure liquid chromatographic separation in conjunction with laser-induced fluorescence detection permits the analysis of trace fluorescent species at new limits of sensitivity. This technique was applied to the carcinogens aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2, which were linearly quantitated to 7.5 x 10(-13) gram. The procedure consists of forming more fluorescent aflatoxin derivatives, eluting the aflatoxins from a reverse-phase column, focusing the 325-nanometer output of a helium-cadmium ion laser into a suspended droplet of the eluent, and measuring the resulting fluorescence using phase-sensitive detection.