Automated sample preparation using in-tube solid-phase microextraction and its application – a review
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Sample preparation, such as extraction, concentration, and isolation of analytes, greatly influences their reliable and accurate analysis. In-tube solid-phase microextraction (SPME) is a new effective sample preparation technique using an open tubular fused-silica capillary column as an extraction device. Organic compounds in aqueous samples are directly extracted and concentrated into the stationary phase of capillary columns by repeated draw/eject cycles of sample solution, and they can be directly transferred to the liquid chromatographic column. In-tube SPME is an ideal sample preparation technique because it is fast to operate, easy to automate, solvent-free, and inexpensive. On-line in-tube SPME-performed continuous extraction, concentration, desorption, and injection using an autosampler, is usually used in combination with high performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. This technique has successfully been applied to the determination of various compounds such as pesticides, drugs, environmental pollutants, and food contaminants. In this review, an overview of the development of in-tube SPME technique and its applications to environmental, clinical, forensic, and food analyses are described.
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