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A Simple Organic Solvent-Free Liquid-Liquid Microextraction Method for the Determination of Potentially Toxic Metals as 2-(5-Bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-(diethylamino)phenol Complex from Food and Biological Samples


An organic solvent-free method was developed to extract some potentially toxic metals, as complexed with 2-(5-bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-(diethylamino)phenol, from different real samples prior to their determination by microsampling flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The method, named ionic liquid-based ultrasound-enhanced air-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction (IL-USE-AALLME), is based upon withdrawing and pushing out a mixture of an aqueous sample and an IL (as the extraction solvent) for several times into a conical test tube using a single syringe, placed in an ultrasound bath (as the enhancing mass transfer agent) during the extraction process. Different effective parameters were studied, and at the optimized conditions, limits of detection, linear dynamic ranges, and enrichment factors were ranged from 0.9 to 2.2 μg L−1, 3.0 to 1023 μg L−1, and 20 ± 2 to 22 ± 2, respectively. After optimization, the method was successfully applied to determine Pb2+, Cu2+, Co2+, Ni2+, and Cr3+ in different biological (hair and nail), vegetable (coriander, parsley, and tarragon), fruit juice (apple, orange, and peach), and water (tap, mineral, and wastewater) samples. The proposed method was compared with two other IL-based and disperser solvent-free methods (i.e., IL-based air-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction and IL-based ultrasound-assisted emulsification microextraction) to demonstrate its performance.

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The authors would like to thank the Semnan University Research Council for the financial support of this work.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Maryam Rajabi.

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Barfi, B., Rajabi, M. & Asghari, A. A Simple Organic Solvent-Free Liquid-Liquid Microextraction Method for the Determination of Potentially Toxic Metals as 2-(5-Bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-(diethylamino)phenol Complex from Food and Biological Samples. Biol Trace Elem Res 170, 496–507 (2016).

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  • Air-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction
  • Ionic liquid
  • Ultrasound
  • Biological
  • Microsampling flame atomic absorption spectrometry