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Anal Chem. 2012 Oct 16;84(20):8467-74. doi: 10.1021/ac3021032. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

A dual-column solid phase extraction strategy for online collection and preparation of continuously flowing effluent streams for mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, Station B 351822, Nashville, Tennessee 37235, United States.


Current desalination techniques for mass spectrometry-based protocols are problematic for performing temporal response studies where increased temporal resolution requires small samples and faster sampling frequencies, which greatly increases the number of samples and sample preparation time. These challenges are pertinent to cellular dynamics experiments, where it is important to sample the biological system frequently and with as little sample waste as possible. To address these needs, we present a dual-column online solid phase extraction (SPE) approach capable of preconcentrating and preparing a constantly perfusing sample stream, with minimal to no sample loss. This strategy is evaluated for use in microfluidic bioreactor studies specifically aimed at characterizing suitable sample flow rates, temporal resolving power, and analyte concentrations. In this work, we demonstrate that this strategy may be used for flow rates as low as 500 nL/min, with temporal resolving power on the order of 3 min, with analyte loadings ranging from femtomoles to picomoles for metabolites. Under these conditions, recoveries of ca. 80% are obtained even at femtomole loadings.

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