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Anal Chem. 2003 Jul 15;75(14):3506-11.

The XT-tube extractor: a hollow fiber-based supported liquid membrane extractor for bioanalytical sample preparation.

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  • 1Department of Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, Sweden.


A new supported liquid membrane extractor for bioanalytical sample preparation is presented. The extractor consists of a polypropylene hollow fiber mounted inside a PTFE tube by means of a cross-connector and a tee-connector. All parts are commercially available, inexpensive, and easily assembled. An organic solvent in the pores of the fiber forms a liquid membrane that separates the sample, which is pumped along the outside of the fiber, from the acceptor phase, which is pumped inside. The length of the hollow fiber may easily be varied to meet different demands on extractive surface and extract volumes. To test the system, the strongly acidic plasticizer/flame retardant metabolite diphenyl phosphate ester (DPhP), with a pKa value of 0.26, was extracted from urine. DPhP was protonated using 4 M hydrochloric acid and extracted into an acceptor phase at pH 9. Thirty extractions were made with the same liquid membrane without any decrease in extraction efficiency and with a relative standard deviation <7%. An analyte concentration enrichment of 5-10 times was achieved in the extraction step, giving a limit of detection (S/N = 3) of 0.014 microg/mL with LC/ESI-MS and 0.18 microg/mL with CE-UV. The effects on extraction efficiency using different sample pH, organic solvents, sample flow rates, and lengths of the fiber were evaluated.

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