HomeSolid Phase Extraction (SPE)Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) Overview

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) Overview

Solid phase extraction is a form of digital (step-wise) chromatography designed to extract, partition, and/or adsorb one or more components from a liquid phase (sample) onto stationary phase (sorbent or resin). Over the last twenty years, SPE has become the most powerful technique available for rapid and selective sample preparation (prep) prior to analytical chromatography. SPE extends a chromatographic system’s lifetime, improves qualitative and quantitative analysis, and by changing an analyte of interest’s original matrix environment to a simpler matrix more suitable for subsequent analysis, the demand placed on an analytical instrument is considerably lessened.

Reversed-Phase SPE methodology
Ion-Exchange SPE methodology
Normal Phase SPE methodology

Solid phase extraction equipment
Charts manifold

Use SPE for Samples that

  • Contain particulate matter causing system clogging and high back-pressure
  • Contain components that cause high background, misleading peaks, and/or poor sensitivity
  • Require cleanup, trace enrichment/concentration, or purification
  • Require sample matrix or solvent exchange

Benefits of SPE

  • Switch sample matrices to a form more compatible with chromatographic analyses
  • Concentrate analytes for increased sensitivity
  • Remove interferences to simplify chromatography and improve quantitation
  • Protect the analytical column from contaminants

Common SPE Applications

  • Pharmaceutical compounds and metabolites in biological fluids
  • Drugs of abuse in biological fluids
  • Environmental pollutants in drinking and waste water
  • Pesticides and antibiotics in food/agricultural matrices
  • Desalting of proteins and peptides
  • Fractionation of lipids
  • Water and fat soluble vitamins