Brian E. McCarryProfessor,
Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment & Health
B.Sc. (British Columbia), Ph.D. (Stanford), F.C.I.C.
Environmental Toxicology and Organic Chemistry
- MetCor Page
- Environmental Toxicology
- Polymer Membranes
- Radionuclides in Nuclear Medicine
- B.E. McCarry Research Group
- Contact Information
Environmental ToxicologyThe principal thrust of our work in recent years has been the development of a methodology for the assessment of the chemical identities and genotoxicological impacts of contaminants in environmental matrices. We are interested primarily in the identification of organic environmental genotoxins, i.e., substances which can cause genetic damage; such damage can cause mutations which may lead to tumours in higher organisms. To accomplish this goal we use an approach called bioassay-directed chemical fractionation which combines the techniques of chemical separation and identification with a relevant biological assay; only those fractions which exhibit a biological response are taken on to the next stage of separation and bioassay analysis until a unique compound is identified. Our work to date has focussed primarily on polycyclic aromatic compounds, some of which are very potent mutagens and carcinogens; these aromatic compounds include the parent hydrocarbons, nitro-substituted derivatives, keto and quinone derivatives and sulfur- and nitrogen-containing aromatics.
Chemical separations of the organic extracts (which are prepared from a variety of environmental matrices) utilize open column, normal phase HPLC and reversed phase HPLC methods. Chemical analyses and identifications are done primarily using GC-MS methods and occasionally LC-MS methods. The bioassay is the Ames mutagenesis reversion assay which uses a variety of specially cloned mutants of the bacterium, Salmonella typhimurium. The responses of many polycyclic aromatic derivatives in this assay closely parallel their relative responses in animal carcinogenicity tests.
We have shown that our approach is amenable to the assessment of a wide variety of complex environmental matrices which have included urban air particulate material, sediments from harbours, lakes and streams (both bottom sediments and suspended sediments), sediment cores, biota such as zebra mussels and amphipods, coal tar and spent oils. In some cases we have been able to identify the chemical compounds among the hundreds in such samples which are responsible for the majority of the genotoxic response.
See also: Ecowise Contaminants Group
"The Toxic Detective"
- C.H. Marvin, L. Allan, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "Chemico/Biological Investigation of Contaminated Sediment from the Hamilton Harbour Area of Western Lake Ontario." Envir. Molec. Mutagenesis, 22, 61-70, (1993).
- W.A. Morris, J.K. Versteeg, C.H. Marvin, B.E. McCarry, N.A. Rukavina, "Preliminary Comparisons between Magnetic Susceptibility and Poylcyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Content in Sediments from Hamilton Harbour, Western Lake Ontario." Science Tot. Envir. 152, 153-160, (1994).
- A.E. Legzdins, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in Hamilton Air: Their Mutagenicity, Ambient Concentrations and Relationships with Atmospheric Pollutants." Polycyc. Arom.Cmpds., 5, 157-165, (1994).
- C.H. Marvin, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Dreissina Polymorpha (Zebra Mussels) Sampled from Hamilton Harbour.", J. Great Lakes Res., 20, 523-530, (1994).
- A.E. Legzdins, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in Hamilton Air: Their Mutagenicity, Ambient Concentrations and Relationships with Atmospheric Pollutants." Polycyc. Arom. Cmpds., 5, 157-165, (1994).
- C.H. Marvin, M. Tessaro, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "A Bioassay-directed Investigation of Sydney Harbour Sediment." Sci. Tot. Envir., 156, 119-131, (1994).
- A.E. Legzdins, B.E. McCarry, C.H. Marvin, D.W. Bryant, "Methodology for Bioassay-directed Fractionation Studies of Air Particulate Material and Other Complex Environmental Matrices.", Inter. J. Env. Anal. Chem., (in press).
- C.H. Marvin, J.L. Lundrigan, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "Isolation, Determination and Genotoxicity of High Molecular Mass Aromatic Hydrocarbons Isolated from Coal Tar Contaminated Sediment." Proceedings of Coastal '94 Conference, 54, 1233-1242, (1994).
- W.A. Morris, J.K. Versteeg, C.H. Marvin, A.E. Legzdins, B.E. McCarry, D.W. Bryant, "Preliminary Correlations between Magnetic Susceptibility, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Mutagenic Response in Respirable Air Particulate in Hamilton, Ontario." Atmos. Environ., (in press).
Polymer MembranesRecently, in collaboration with R.F. Childs (Chemistry) and J.M. Dickson (Chemical Engineering), we have developed strategies for the preparation of thin-film composite membranes and grafted membranes. Onto the surfaces of existing polymer membranes we can prepare a very thin film of a polyamide by the interfacial polymerization of a diamine with a diacyl or disulfonyl chloride. The new strategy involves the use of a photoreactive acid chloride, thus rendering the thin polymer film photoreactive. Photolysis of this polymer in water converts the photoreactive entity into a carboxylic acid; in the presence of an alcohol, to an ester; in the presence of an amine, to an amide. We have explored this photochemical approach for the development of new membranes for novel separations.
We have also shown that we can graft a variety of polymers onto the surfaces of macroporous commercial polyethylene or polypropylene membranes. These grafted membranes have some very unusual transport phenomena which makes them excellent candidates for applications such as ion-exchange membranes with very high capacities, electrodialysis membranes and diffusion dialysis membranes.
- B.J. Trushinski, J.M. Dickson, B.E. McCarry, R.F. Childs, "Photochemically modified thin-film composite membranes. Part I: Acid and ester membranes." J.Applied Polymer Sci., 48, 187-198, (1993).
- B.J. Trushinski, J.M. Dickson, R.F. Childs, B.E. McCarry, D.R. Gagnon, "Photochemically modified thin-film composite membranes. Part II: Bromoethyl ester, Dioxolan and Hydroxyethyl Ester membranes." J.Applied Polymer Sci., 54, 1233-1242, (1994).
Radionuclides in Nuclear MedicineIn collaboration with colleagues in Nuclear Medicine we have been investigating new ways of incorporating position-emitting radionuclides (e.g., 11C and 18F) into compounds which can be used to provide real-time images of organs such as the brain or the heart via position emission tomography (PET). The short half-lives (20 minutes for 11C and 110 minutes for 18F) and the high specific activities of these nuclides require the development of special reaction conditions for the efficient preparation and purification of PET agents.
For example, we have recently been able to synthesize the versatile acylating reagent [11C]acetyl chloride from [11C]CO2 (produced in a cyclotron in Nuclear Medicine), to use this reagent to acetylate a neuroactive amine and to isolate the desired amide in sterile form ready for injection into a patient in 35 minutes (about two 11C half-lives). All of this chemistry was performed safely in special fumehoods with all of the equipment controlled by a computer.
- G.M. Ross, B.E. McCarry, S.Thakur, R.K. Mishra, "Identification of Novel Catecholamine Absorbing Proteins in the Central Nervous System." J.Molec. Neuroscience, 4, 141-148, (1993).
- R. Chirakal, B.E. McCarry, M. Lonergan, G. Firnau, S. Garnett, "Base-mediated Decomposition of Mannose Triflate During Synthesis of 2-Deoxy-2-18F-fluoro-D-Glucose." Inter. J. Appl. Rad. Isotopes, 46, 149-155, (1995).
B.E. McCarry Research Group, August, 1999
L-R: S. Ackloo, A. Boden, L. Andrew. B.E. McCarry
Dr B.E. McCarry
Department of Chemistry
Hamilton, Ont., Canada
Voice (905) 525-9140, ext. 24192
FAX (905) 522-2509
Laboratory: ABB-356B, 464
Department of Chemistry
Ecowise Contaminants Group
Membrane Research Group