Solid phase microextraction (SPME) is a powerful technique for the analysis of trace components in a wide variety of matrices. The types of compounds which can be analyzed by this technique ranges from non-polar to semi-polar materials due to the different fiber materials available. Most applications favor headspace over immersion sampling, therefore the analytes must be volatile enough to partition into the headspace of the vial being sampled. Often, heating and agitation of the sample are required. Quantification can be a challenge due to matrix effects. Automation of these and other steps can help with sample throughput, precision and accuracy.
The MPS PrepStation is a dual-rail/dual robot configuration of the GERSTEL MPS 2 MultiPurpose Sampler. The PrepStation is fully programmable, combining automated sample preparation and sample introduction. One MPS 2 rail of the MPS PrepStation is an automated liquid sample handler that performs a wide range of sample preparation functions. The second MPS 2 rail can provide several automated sample introduction options, depending upon the selected MPS 2 hardware configuration.
The new GERSTEL MAESTRO software provides users control software with a simplified user interface combined with significantly expanded capabilities. The sample preparation functions have been expanded, are easy to set up and have been extended to provide more operational flexibility.
This paper illustrates the use of automation to simplify sample preparation steps, such as derivatization, heating, agitation, and standard addition. Specific examples using solid phase microextraction are shown.