2009 New device for the extraction and chemical analysis of sample compounds

Development of an efficient extraction device that simplifies the preparation of samples for subsequent chemical analysis.


Researchers of UIB Chemistry Department have developed an efficient extraction device that simplifies the preparation of samples for their chemical analysis. This device allows extracting the compounds to be analyzed from the sample directly in a vial compatible with the usual instruments of analysis, without the need of additional manipulation, minimizing the lack of precision and allowing great flexibility in the volume of the sample to deal.


This extraction system is based on separation and analyte preconcentration process using a liquid-liquid extraction assisted membrane, which is incorporated into the same vial stopper containing the acceptor phase. Manipulation necessary to carry out the extraction is minimal, because the analytes are extracted from the sample directly into a vial compatible with the autoanalyzer of the analysis instrument.

With this new design, the vial used to perform the instrumental measurements is the same device used for sample preparation prior to its chemical analysis.

Main advantages

This device has two main advantages with respect to other devices assisting the liquid phase microextraction.

  • After the extraction it is not necessary any additional manipulation rather than placing the vial in the auto analyzer of the assessment tool. With this new configuration, the analytical measurement process is more accurate, robust and requires much less skill to use than other devices designed (but not yet in the market) for the same purposes
  • Depending on the configuration adopted for contacting the membrane with solutions, there is great flexibility in the sample volume that can be treated (from mL to liters). Thus, the method can be adjusted to the available volume of sample and to the level of analytes concentration that should be determined.

In addition, it maintains the advantages of the membrane-assisted devices: excellent clean-up, high enrichment factor achieved and low solvent consumption, without risk of emulsion formation.


After extraction, the vial is recovered without additional manipulation (only drying, if necessary) and transferred to the autoanalyzer.

With this new design, we improve the methodology used to carry out analytical sample preparation, based on liquid-liquid extraction processes assisted by a membrane.

Actual State

Prototype. The outstanding developments focus on the details of the final designs and validation of analytical applications that may result from its use. Preliminary studies have focused on the extraction of semipolar compounds in urine [1] and nonpolar compounds (PAHs) in seawater. [1] Journal of Chromatography A, 1261 (2009) 5160-5163.

The device facilitates the chemical analysis of analytes, especially of organic compounds at trace levels contained in samples, both solid and liquid of any kind: food, clinical specimens, environmental (water, soil, marine sediments, etc), industrial samples, etc.

Desired cooperation: To complete the studies to expand the fields of application and perfect the system, as well as to introduce necessary to move from the manual preparation of the device for mass production rectifications, it would be enriching to collaborate with companies interested to accelerate the phase tuning and facilitate the eventual commercialization. Specifically, the research group is aimed at companies engaged in the manufacture and marketing of analytical devices for use in analytical chemistry laboratories on a routine basis, without excluding research centers.

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