Application Advantages of SPE

SPE is a sample pretreatment technology developed in recent years. It is developed by the combination of liquid-solid extraction and column liquid chromatography, which is mainly used for sample separation, purification, and concentration. Compared with traditional liquid-liquid extraction methods, it can improve the recovery rate of analytes and the more effective separation of the analyte and the interference component reduce the sample pretreatment process, and the operation is simple, time-saving, and labor-saving.

SPE cartridge

A solid-phase extraction device is a physical extraction process involving a liquid phase and a solid phase. In the solid-phase extraction process, the adsorption of the solid relative analyte is greater than that of the sample mother liquor. When the sample passes through the solid-phase extraction cartridge, the analyte is adsorbed on the solid surface, and the other components pass through the column with the sample mother liquor, and finally, the appropriate solvent takes off the analyte. It is widely used in the fields of medicine, food, environmental protection, commodity inspection, pesticide residues, etc.

SPE is a widely used and popular sample preparation technology that uses a solid adsorbent to adsorb a target compound in a liquid sample, separate it from the matrix and interfering compound of the sample, and then elute or heat it with the eluent. It is more ideal than ordinary solvent extraction in several cases:

1. Pretreatment of organic matter in water.

It is basically oscillating extraction with an organic solvent that is incompatible with water, and the advantages are as follows:

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(1) The pretreatment process can be repeated quantitatively. Solvent oscillation operation generally only requires the degree of control time, but can not control the oscillation frequency, intensity, and action. We know that each person’s oscillation action is different, and it is difficult to ensure that the action is always uniform for the same person. Therefore, the action of solvent extraction is not quantitative and cannot be repeated. For SPE, it is easier to maintain the uniformity and stability of the column and the elution rate. Therefore, the extraction process of the SPE can be repeated and quantifiable.

(2) On-site processing.

The analysis of organic matter in water has a bottleneck that has long plagued many. That is to say, organic matter can be relatively stable in the environment such as ponds and reservoirs, but once it enters the small environment of the sampling bottle, it will change rapidly, so many organic matter analysis methods of water require immediate analysis. If the SPE technology is introduced, it can be sampled at the site and pretreated, as it is small in size and easy to carry. The sampler brought back to the lab was an SPE column instead of a water sample.

(3) Reduction in the consumption of organic reagents.

When using SPE, it is only necessary to use an organic solvent at the time of elution, which is a dozen times more than the conventional liquid-liquid extraction. It has a positive significance for the personal protection and environmental protection of the experimenter.

2. Pharmaceutical ingredient extraction of bulk biomaterials

This is a successful example of solid-phase extraction in practical applications. It mainly refers to the pretreatment work when testing blood samples and urine samples in hospitals. With the single sample and fixed composition, it is suitable for large-scale batch purification operations after determining the method.

3. Enrichment

When in trace analysis and preparation, it is a necessary process to enrich the target sample. For example, when analyzing PAHs in the water, we can add a 1,000 mL sample of water into the SPE cartridge, with the PAHs reserved in the column.

Then, we can use 2 mL solvent to make elution. In this way, the PAHs are concentrated by 500 times, which means in the same detection condition, the method limit of detection of the analyte is only 1/500 of it before the process.

4. Purification

It can remove the impurity before instrumental analysis. On the one hand, this prevents the impurity from interfering with the target sample and improves the sensitivity of the analysis. On the other hand, this also can avoid damage to the instrument from the impurity.

5. Solvent Converting

Some analysis instrument has a special requirement for the solvent which dissolves the analyte, it can be converted by SPE cartridge.

For example, when we use the gas chromatography method to analyze the semi-volatile contaminant in the water if we make a direct injection, the water will affect the separation and damage the gas chromatography column, so we need to convert the solvent.

6. Selective Extraction:

SPE allows for the selective extraction of target analytes from complex sample matrices. The choice of the sorbent material in the SPE cartridge can be tailored to specific chemical properties, enabling the isolation of analytes of interest.

7. Matrix Cleanup:

SPE is effective for removing unwanted matrix components, such as salts, proteins, lipids, and interfering substances. This results in cleaner extracts, reducing interference in downstream analytical methods.

8. Concentration of Analytes:

SPE concentrates analytes by eluting them in a smaller volume compared to the original sample. This concentration is beneficial for improving detection limits and enhancing the sensitivity of analytical techniques.

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