Functions of Hawach SPE Cartridges During Extraction

Solid phase extraction (SPE) is a separation process by which a compound is dissolved or suspended in a liquid mixture, thereby being separated from other compounds in the mixture according to their physical and chemical properties.

There are 4 general functions as below:

1. Matrix removal

For complex samples, the target compound needs to be separated from the matrix. The sample needs to be transformed into a suitable form to meet the needs of the analytical instrument.

2. Concentration

Enrichment of the target is a necessary process for trace analysis or preparation.

3. Clear up

Sample cleanup is achieved by a special interaction between the target compound and the functional groups on the SPE cartridges to remove components and impurities that interfere with instrumental analysis. This way can avoid the interference of impurities on the target, improves the sensitivity of the analysis, and also prevent the instrument from damage by impurities.

4. Conversion solvent

Some analytical instruments have special requirements for analyte dissolution in solvents, but they can be converted by SPE cartridges. For example, when using the GC method to analyze semi-volatile contaminants in water, if injected directly, moisture will affect the separation and damage the GC column, thus requiring solvent conversion.

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) cartridges, like those from Hawach Scientific, play crucial roles in the process of extracting and purifying analytes from complex sample matrices. Here are the key functions of Hawach SPE cartridges during extraction:

  1. Sample Preconcentration:
    • SPE cartridges allow for the concentration of analytes from a relatively large volume of sample onto a smaller solid phase, enabling better detection sensitivity.
  2. Matrix Cleanup:
    • They effectively remove interfering substances, such as salts, proteins, lipids, and other matrix components, which can interfere with downstream analytical techniques.
  3. Selective Sorption:
    • Different types of SPE media (e.g., C18, silica, ion exchange) selectively retain analytes based on their chemical properties, allowing for isolation from unwanted compounds.
  4. Analyte Enrichment:
    • The analytes of interest are retained on the SPE sorbent, while unwanted substances are washed away. This leads to a higher concentration of the target analytes.
  5. Isolation of Analytes:
    • SPE cartridges isolate specific compounds from a mixture, allowing for their individual analysis or further processing.
  6. Fractionation:
    • By using different cartridges or conditions, it’s possible to separate analytes into different fractions based on their chemical properties.
  7. Removal of Interferents:
    • They remove substances that may interfere with the subsequent analytical method, leading to more accurate and reliable results.
  8. Desalting:
    • SPE cartridges can be used to remove salts and ions from the sample, particularly useful in applications like environmental analysis or biological sample preparation.
  9. Enhanced Sensitivity:
    • By reducing the sample volume and concentrating the analytes of interest, SPE can enhance the sensitivity of analytical techniques like HPLC, GC, and mass spectrometry.
  10. Protection of Analytical Instruments:
    • By removing unwanted matrix components, SPE cartridges can extend the lifespan of analytical instruments by preventing clogging or damage.
  11. Standardization of Sample Preparation:
    • SPE cartridges provide a standardized and reproducible method for sample cleanup and enrichment, ensuring consistent results across different samples.
  12. Reduced Matrix Effects:
    • Matrix effects, which can lead to inaccurate analytical results, are minimized by removing interfering substances through SPE.

Overall, Hawach SPE cartridges are crucial tools in sample preparation for various analytical techniques. Their ability to selectively retain and elute specific compounds allows for accurate and reliable analyses of complex sample matrices.