Development of passive samplers (PS) for the quantification and speciation of contaminants

Theme team

Permanent staff

Gilles Guibaud – Professor

Rémy Buzier – Associate professor

Robin Guibal – Associate professor

Thibaut Le Guet – Associate professor

Sophie Lissalde – Research engineer

Rachel Martins-de-Barros – Study engineer

Stéphane Simon – Associate professor

Contractual staff

Juliette Rougerie – Research engineer

PhD students

Neus Isabel Bonet Garcia

Eric Caroca

Noémie Leguédois

Raphaello Mattiussi

Rahul Pires

Dieudonne Zirhumanana Balike

Start-Up Ecométrique

Ecométrique is a start-up in the field of environmental metrology applied to water quality, offering innovative tools for measuring micropollutants in water: pesticides, pharmaceutical residues, hormones, metals/metalloids.

You can download the presentation brochure here.

Three main areas of work guide the work in this theme: (1) developing or improving PEs, (2) evaluating the robustness and contribution of PEs for the quantification or speciation of micropollutants in natural systems or complex matrices, and (3) combining the use of these samplers with high-resolution spectrometry techniques to improve the overall study of environmental contamination.

  1. Passive samplers currently in use have often remained in their original design and materials. By modifying one or the other, it is possible to make them easier to handle, more robust in aggressive or complex environments, for example by freeing them from certain biases identified since their creation (e.g. surface fouling, limited or reversible binding capacity of certain phases, release of commercial phases generating too much interference during the determination of target compounds).
  2. These samplers are of real interest because of their integrative aspect, making it possible to follow compounds over time and/or to concentrate them, but also to approach their distribution or speciation in an environment. Although many passive samplers have rapidly become commercial products, feedback from deployments in conditions other than those initially defined raises questions about the validity of the information obtained. It is therefore necessary to clearly define the quantitative information provided by PE.
  3. The combination of the sampling capacities of PEs, i.e. capturing everything they can fix during the exposure period, with the capacities offered today by high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) analysis technologies opens up new perspectives. Given the multitude of compounds potentially present in an environmental matrix, the exhaustive search for targeted compounds quickly presents technical and financial limits. On the other hand, the interpretation of the signature obtained in HRMS of a sample can directly assess the anthropic pressure that an environment is undergoing and therefore indirectly the risk of quality degradation.

More generally, members of the team participate in the national think tank and two groups of the Norman European network on passive samplers and non-target screening.

The H2020 ITN-EJD M2ex project will test the contribution of passive DGT samplers to the determination of metal/metalloid distribution in different complex matrices (biological reactors, biological sludge, but also soil and sediment). This project, which is currently being launched, will make it possible to implement various approaches, such as the comparison of values obtained by EP with a biological response or with quantities obtained by other chemical methods.

Call for projects Plan LoireII

Characterisation of waters at the head of catchment areas: definition of reference indicators to assess and monitor the impact of climate change

Coordinators: Gilles Guibaud

The lack of biological, chemical and physical characterisation of the small rivers at the head of the catchment area is detrimental to managers, as they are unable to argue their strategic action plans to funders in order to act effectively to preserve these aquatic environments. In fact, the water body on which these beds are located, despite an uncertain qualitative and quantitative state, is assessed as being in good condition. The methodology used in the framework of the assessment of the quality of water bodies by the WFD is relevant for giving a general vision on the scale of Europe of global evolution, but it gives little account of the problems or evolutions on a reduced spatial scale. It is therefore poorly adapted to the rivers at the head of the catchment area. The redefinition of a methodology or indicators for the qualification of the quality of water bodies located at the head of the catchment area is necessary.

Moreover, the definition of suitable indicators will also allow better monitoring of qualitative or quantitative changes in the headwaters of the catchment area, and will allow better definition of the trajectories of these environments so as to adapt human uses to future climatic changes while preserving the strong biological potential of these environments.

Financial partners :


Private treaty treatment

Is the direct use of ponds for low water support or to support certain human uses in the context of the head of the catchment area and climate change relevant?

Coordinators: Gilles Guibaud, Julie Leblanc

The aim of this study is to test low-water support for rivers at the head of the catchment area in the Creuse department, using ponds and the hydraulic reserve that they represent. The objective would be to mitigate the effects of climate change, in particular the modification of the rainfall regime, which nowadays leads to increasingly long and severe low-water periods in this sector, with consequences for the ecological continuity of the watercourses concerned and the associated uses (drinking water, livestock watering, leisure activities, etc.). The objective is therefore to carry out an experiment over a hydrological year for a model study site (pond-stream system), representative of the local context.

Financial partners :