Development and optimization of a standard method for extraction of microplastics in mussels by enzyme digestion of soft tissues

The authors compared procedures for digestion of mussel soft tissues and extraction of microplastics. Complete tissue digestion was achieved with 1M NaOH, 35% HNO3, and protease at 9.6 UHb/mL (unit hemoglobin per mL); but use of HNO3 caused unacceptable destruction of some microplastics. Recovery of microplastics spiked into mussels was similar (93 ± 10%) for NaOH and enzyme digestions. The authors recommend use of industrial enzymes based on digestion efficiency, microplastic recovery, and avoidance of caustic chemicals.

Ana I. Catarino, Richard Thompson, William Sanderson, Theodore B. Henry, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, October 2016, 5 pages, In press

The article

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