Environmental science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 9463 Views Nov 20, 2018
It is essential to provide a protocol for the separation and identification of microplastics in marine vertebrates (mammals, birds, turtles and fish) that is easy to follow and adaptable depending on research infrastructure. Digesting organic material is an effective way to analyze samples for microplastics. Presented here is an optimized protocol which uses potassium hydroxide (KOH) for processing samples of digestive tracts, scats and regurgitates. KOH is a cheap, effective and simple alkaline digestant that allows extraction of plastics from the sample matrix. Samples are first digested, then filtered before visual and chemical analysis of remaining particle. This allows size, shape, color and polymer of each particle to be ascertained. This protocol has been harmonized with other protocols for the collection of different samples (e.g., diet, parasites, other pathologies). The implementation of this protocol at different levels of economic and/or laboratory resources make information on microplastic incidence available to the entire research community.

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