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Automated solid phase extraction (SPE) systems are primarily used for the extraction, separation, and purification of trace organic compounds in various samples, including food, pharmaceuticals, beverages, soil, water, blood, and urine. In addition to fully automating the entire SPE process from activation to sample application, rinsing and collection, the system also has a fast concentration function, which further improves work efficiency. With a 6-channel design, multiple samples can be processed in series or in parallel, allowing for small volume sample loading while also enriching trace pollutants such as organic matter, heavy metals, and pesticide residues in large volume samples.

The solid phase extraction system has been commercialized for over 20 years, and continues to discover more applications in various fields. This technology's development seems to be due to the supplier's ability to provide application support in specific areas, especially in clinical science, pharmaceuticals, toxicology, insecticides, and residue analysis. Solid phase extraction system operations require the following four steps:

Step 1: Activation

Make the column bed solvent, thereby creating an environment where the sample matrix can repeatedly interact with the SPE adsorbent. Rinse the column bed with a certain volume of suitable solvent, followed by rinsing with a solvent similar in properties to the sample matrix. The most common application example is to first use methanol, followed by water for rinsing to create an environment suitable for extracting analytes in water-soluble sample matrices.

Step 2: Retention

Add the sample to the activated SPE column, and the analytes and other sample matrix components undergo retention on the adsorbent through one or more types of forces (such as van der Waals forces or nonpolar interactions between the CH chain and the C18-bonded phase). Matrix interference components can penetrate the C18-bonded phase and not be retained, so the purification may have occurred during the sample retention operation.

Step 3: Rinsing

Rinse the SPE column with a solvent to wash away the interference components, while retaining the analytes in the column bed. Nonpolar extraction on the C18 adsorbent commonly uses water, or an extract of water and organic solvents as the rinsing solvent.

Step 4: Elution

Select a suitable solvent that can break the interaction between the analyte and the adsorbent to elute the column bed, and selectively elute the target analyte. In the case of nonpolar extraction, organic solvent methanol has sufficient elution capacity to break the interaction between nonpolar analytes and the C18 bonded phase.

As one of the automated laboratory systems, the solid phase extraction system uses a solid adsorbent to adsorb target compounds in the liquid sample, separate them from the matrix and interfering compounds in the sample, and then wash or heat desorb them to achieve the separation, purification, and concentration of the target compounds, with the aim of reducing the matrix interference of the sample and improving the detection sensitivity. It is applied to various food safety testing, agricultural product residue monitoring, medical and health, environmental protection, commodity inspection, tap water and chemical production laboratories.

The manual solid phase extraction process is always a tedious and time-consuming task. Due to the unstable flow rate, the sample parallelism of experiments can not be guaranteed since it can easily be affected by the column condition. Besides, organic reagents are highly toxic and permeable, long-term contact can rise health issues for lab technicians. Hence, RayKol automated SPE systems would be the ideal solution for all the issues above. Contact us for more information of RayKol automated liquid extraction equipment! Learn more about pressurized liquid extraction, nitrogen evaporator, microwave digestion system, etc.

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