U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 71, No. 1, January 1, 1999


Handled glass has the ability to collect and concentrate nonaqueous human skin emanations while minimizing the collection of aqueous perspiration. Compounds originating from the skin and collected on glass have previously been found to attract the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. Therefore, glass beads were used as the medium to collect skin emanations from humans for subsequent chemical analysis. This process consisted of a 5-15-min collection of sample on glass beads, followed by loading the beads into a gas chromatograph (GC) injector insert for subsequent desorption of the collected compounds onto the GC column. After cryofocusing by liquid nitrogen at the head of the column, the thermally desorbed compounds were analyzed by GC/MS. Microscale purge and trap introduction was also used to provide complementary information. In this case, the beads are held in a round-bottom flask, purged with nitrogen, and heated as the concentrator collects the headspace above the beads. The chromatograms produced by both of these sample introduction methods demonstrate good resolution of a complex sample. Cryofocusing volatiles from handled glass allowed identification of lactic acid, aliphatic fatty acids, and other polar to nonpolar compounds of moderate volatility while purge and trap allowed detection of nonpolar to moderately polar compounds of high volatility.