Microextraction Tech Blog
Posted on November 20th, 2014
Sample treatment is essential to develop competitive analytical methods in different application areas, from environmental sciences to bioanalysis. The low concentration of the target analytes, the large number of potential interferences or the incompatibility of the sample matrix with the instrumental technique selected for the final analyte determination can be highlighted as the main ones. This situation also remains even when very selective and sensitive instrumental techniques, like mass spectrometry, are used in order to avoid collateral problems such as ion suppression. Sample treatment is an exciting research field that has been evolving in a gradual and incremental way in the last decades.
Analytical Chemistry journals usually consider sample treatment as an important research line as it can be inferred from the number of publications as well as the frequent special issues dedicated to the topic. Microextraction Tech was created to divulgate all these advances and to become a meeting point for analytical chemists interested in the topic. In our twitter and facebook account, we publish a periodic digest of this scientific literature while the main contributions (new approaches or special applications) are described in our blog.
In my professional experience, I have read about many microextraction techniques. Although some of them present a high potential (in terms of extraction efficiency or simplicity), they are not completely accepted in routine analytical laboratories. We may wonder why the reason for this incongruence is. The answer is quite simple in many cases: the lack of automation. There is no point in having great extraction features if the microextraction technique cannot be automated to process a large number of samples. Automation is essential but the integration sample treatment/instrumental technique is the ideal situation.
In short, Anatune fills this gap. This company has focused the research on becoming microextraction techniques into reality, and this aspect makes the reading of Anatune blog so stimulating. Although the blog is full of interesting examples of automation and integration, one of them astonished me a few weeks ago. I considered single drop microextraction (SDME) as a powerful technique but difficult to implement in a routine lab. The reading of the post dedicated to SDME automation on September 5th changed my views and rescued many sensations from my post-doctoral stage (thanks for that!!) when I worked with my first PhD student on the use of ionic liquids in SDME.
Just to finish, I would like to thank the opportunity to write in the Anatune blog. It has been a great honor.
Rafael Lucena is professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Córdoba, Spain, where he teaches in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences. He also teaches on the Erasmus Mundus Masters in Forensic Science. His main research interest is focused on the development of new microextraction techniques aimed to improve sample treatment. He is currently the editor of Microextraction Tech blog.
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