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Using Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE) to Investigate Odours Emitted by Materials

For too long, SBSE has been restricted by the non-availability of more polar phases. Poly dimethyl silicone is very useful, but there has been no way of pulling out more polar analytes from aqueous matrices without resorting to matrix modification; something that isn’t always possible or indeed desirable.

The technical challenges associated with the development and manufacture of stir bars coated with polar phases proved to be considerable; however, now EG-Silicone (ethylene glycol -silicone) Twister stir bars are available and, while not perfect, are proving to be very useful.

In an earlier post, I drew attention to Ray Marsili’s recent presentation on this topic at the 3rd Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction Technical Meeting in Paris. Today, I have been reading through written copies of the presentations given at the meeting and I came across several other presentations discussing the alternatives to PDMS.

One presentation was entitled:

Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE) for the Identification of Odorous Compounds Emitted by Materials

– by Annabelle Cingöz, Anne Borcy, and Catherine Henneuse of Certech in Belgium

Since many unpleasant odour compounds are quite polar in nature, the advantages of these new polar stir bars in this context is clear.

Another, presented by a group from the Institute of Analytical Sciences of the University of Lyon, discussed the development of new SBSE materials derived from PDMS.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the availability of new SBSE phases will greatly increase the range of tasks to which SBSE can be put and make it ever more useful.

If you want to know more about this topic and how Twister SBSE can aid the extraction of your samples for analysis by GC-MS, please contact us: or call on +44(0)1223 279210.

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