Learn About SPE Cartridges

SPE columns or SPE cartridges are based on liquid-solid phase chromatography theory, it is a kind of extraction, separation, concentrated sample preparation unit. It is a liquid and solid phase physical extraction process and also can be considered a simple chromatographic process.

Hawach SPE cartridges are made from medical PP and formed as injection syringe type, equipped with two pieces of medical PE sieve plate, and chromatographic adsorbents (fillers) are filled between these two. The upper end of the SPE cartridge is open, and the lower end is a liquid outlet, and the liquid is discharged from the outlet after passing through the adsorbent. The conventional size of the column tube is 1 mL, 3 mL, 6 mL, and 12 mL.

What is SPE Cartridge?

The term SPE cartridges are short for Solid Phase Extraction cartridge. It is a kind of sample preprocessing equipment (extract, separate, and concentrate) that is developed from the chromatographic column.

SPE cartridge is mainly used for preprocessing the target compound in all kinds of food, agriculture and livestock product, environmental sample, and biological sample. SPE  technology has been widely applied to a number of GB/T and industry analysis standards.

The volume of SPE cartridges refers to its adsorbing capacity of filler. For the cartridge with the matrix of the silica gel, the volume is 1-5 mg/100 mg in general, which is to say that the volume is 1% to 5% of the filler’s mass.

Theory of SPE Cartridges

SPE technology is based on the theory of liquid-solid phase chromatography, using selective adsorption and elution to enrich, separate and purify the samples. It is a kind of physical extraction process of the liquid phase and solid phase, and also a simple chromatographic process.

A common method used in the laboratory is to keep the analyzed matter in the liquid solvent sample by the adsorbent. Next, choose the appropriate solvent to wash away the impurity. Then use small amounts of solvent to elute the analyzed matter quickly in order to gain fast purification and concentration.

Solid phase extraction principle

Solid phase extraction is a separation technique that combines selective retention, selective elution, and the like. When a complex sample solution passes through the sorbent, the sorbent selectively retains the aimed compound and a small number of similar properties by polar interaction force, hydrophobic interaction, or ion exchange.

Other components pass through the sorbent and are then eluted with another solvent system to selectively separate the target, thereby achieving separation, purification, and enrichment of complex samples.

In the solid phase extraction process, retention and elution are affected by the target, sorbent, and solvent. For a given target, choosing the appropriate sorbent, sample solvent, and elution solvents are the keys to successful separation.

4 Classifications of SPE Cartridges

Solid-phase extraction fillers are usually chromatographic adsorbents. Hawach offers the following four categories.

The first one is based on silica gel (e.g. C18, C8, etc.); the second one is based on high polymers, such as polystyrene – Divinylbenzene and the like; the third type is mainly inorganic materials, such as Flory diatomaceous earth, alumina, graphitized carbon, etc.; the fourth type is a special column, such as an azo dye detection column.

1. Organic polymer solid phase extraction materials: PLS, PCX, PAX, MCX, MAX
2. Bonded silica solid phase extraction materials: C18, C18A, 18-Na, C8, Silica, CN, SI, PRS, SCX, SAX
3. Inorganic matrix solid phase extraction materials: SI, Florisll, AI-A, AI-N, AI-B, GCB, PGC
4. Mixed solid phase extraction material: C8-SCX, C8-SAX

In the use of an SPE cartridge, the more common method is to pass the liquid sample solution through the adsorbent, retain the substance to be tested, and then use the appropriate strength solvent to wash away the impurities, and then quickly elute the test substance with a small amount of solvent, thereby achieving the purpose of rapid separation, purification, and concentration. In addition, Hawach can be customized according to your specific application requirements.

We are here to help you choose the most appropriate SPE cartridges! You are welcome to send us an email to info@hawach.com