A Sample Preparation Primer and Guide to Solid Phase Extraction Methods Development

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Patrick D. McDonald [Waters]
Waters PDF Book
Content Type:
Application Notes
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Application Notebooks
Sep-Pak Cartridge
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2001 PDF Edition revised & adapted from: Solid Phase Extraction Applications Guide and Bibliography: A Resource for Sample Preparation Methods Development, Sixth Edition, Editors: Patrick D. McDonald, Ph.D., and Edouard S.P. Bouvier, Ph.D., published by Waters Corporation, Milford, MA [1995] P/N WAT052853; ISBN 1-879732-06-8; Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 95-60173

Of the various techniques used for sample preparation, solid phase extraction [SPE] now plays a prominent role. Also known as column solid-liquid extraction, SPE works by the same mechanisms as the premier analytical technique of today, HPLC. As testimony to the success of this method, over 5000 literature references by more than 10,000 authors describing the isolation, enrichment, and/or purification of more than 11,000 compounds are now available online in the Waters Applications Library.

Methods cited in our database cover a wide range of key applications in the Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Environmental, Forensic, Clinical, Food, Agricultural, and Industrial fields. Objectives range broadly from trace enrichment to sample clean-up. It is quite likely that you will find a method in one or more of these literature citations that you can use directly or adapt to your needs with little modification.

You can also use our database to generate ideas on how to approach your specific problem based on the experience of others who have solved similar problems. If a search for your particular compound or matrix of interest does not return any results, look for structurally related compounds, metabolites, derivatives, or matrices with similar characteristics. However, you should not use our database as a cookbook. We do not have the resources to verify all the procedures cited here and, therefore, cannot guarantee your success. Please be prudent and use your best scientific judgment. While some references describe officially sanctioned methods, most of these citations should be viewed merely as starting points or feasibility determinations. You may undoubtedly find a way to improve upon a specific protocol. To aid you in this process, this Primer presents some background in sample preparation strategies and guidelines for developing methods using solid phase extraction.

Twenty-five years ago [January, 1978], the sale of the first Sep-Pak Classic Cartridges triggered a revolution in streamlining sample preparation. Since then, Waters has continued to provide new tools to assist you in your sample preparation methods. Waters currently offers a broad line of devices to suit different sample preparation needs. Versatile Sep-Pak Plus and Light Cartridges may be used with positive-pressure or vacuum-assisted flow in manual or automated applications. The Sep-Pak Vac line of syringe-barrel-type cartridges are designed for use with vacuum manifolds and automated SPE instruments. Sep-Pak Vac RC Cartridges are made for robotic applications as well as for use with vacuum manifolds, when larger liquid sample volumes need to be processed. Many of the methods in the literature were developed for manual techniques using a Sep-Pak Classic Cartridge. You may need to use a different cartridge style. We have, therefore, included information that guides you in the conversion of methods from one Sep-Pak® Cartridge format to another.

Special thanks is extended to each of the authors who has contributed to the success of solid phase extraction by developing and using this technique, in often innovative ways, to solve a multitude of important problems. Waters Applications Library is, after all, a compendium of your work. We look forward to creating new, productive sample preparation tools for you to use in the future.

Please read the PDF file linked below about Oasis Sample Extraction Products which represent the second revolution in SPE technology.

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