EXPLORING THE AUTOMATION OF VACUUM ASSISTED HEADSPACE SOLID PHASE MICROEXTRACTION (VAC-HS-SPME): PART I
Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction (HS-SPME) is a widely recognised technique for the precise determination of volatile compounds through gas chromatography across various fields and applications. Yet, its effectiveness has historically favoured volatile analytes over semi-volatile due to the inherent limitations in analyte mass transfer rates during the process. To extract semi-volatile analytes efficiently, HS-SPME methods often necessitate extended extraction times and high temperatures, which can accelerate analyte transfer kinetics but also introduce risks such as sample decomposition and the formation of unwanted compounds, especially in complex matrices like food.
Fortunately, a promising solution has emerged: the application of vacuum during HS-SPME. This innovative approach has shown remarkable improvements in extraction kinetics for certain semi-volatile sample components. It results in higher extraction efficiencies and increased analyte sensitivity, all while significantly reducing sampling times and employing gentler sampling temperatures. While Vacuum Assisted HS-SPME (Vac-HS-SPME) has been manually applied in the past, the prospects of automating this step using the GERSTEL Multipurpose Sampler (MPS) hold great promise. Automation not only enhances speed and throughput but also allows the system to run unattended, eliminating the need for manual intervention in the analysis process. This application note elaborates on the development of an automated Vac-HS-SPME approach with the GERSTEL MPS, ushering in a new era of efficiency and precision in sample analysis.
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