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Study on the Diffusion-Dominated Solid-Phase Microextraction Kinetics in Semisolid Sample Matrix

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journal contribution
posted on 26.08.2016, 00:00 by Jianqiao Xu, Shuyao Huang, Songbo Wei, Muzi Yang, Chenyang Cao, Ruifen Jiang, Fang Zhu, Gangfeng Ouyang
Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) kinetics in semisolid samples should be different from that in aqueous and gaseous samples, as convection is negligible in semisolid samples but dominates mass transfer in bulk phases of aqueous and gaseous samples. This study developed a mathematical model for describing SPME kinetics in semisolid samples by considering the diffusion of analytes in two compartments, i.e., the fiber coating and the ever-increasing diffusion domain in the sample matrix. The mathematical model predicted that SPME and the desorption of preloaded analytes from the fiber would be isotropic in semisolid samples, while SPME in semisolid samples would not follow the first order kinetics as in aqueous and gaseous samples. The predictions were proven true in the experiment of four pharmaceuticals in agarose gel. In return, it was observed in the experiment that SPME kinetics would deviate more significantly from the first order kinetics for the analytes with higher partition coefficients between the fiber and the sample matrix, which was well explained by the mathematical model developed in this study. In addition, SPME kinetics predicted by the model coincided well with the experimental results when the diffusion coefficients were at reasonable levels, which demonstrated that the model could be satisfactory for describing SPME kinetics in semisolid samples. The illustration of the nonfirst order SPME kinetics in semisolid samples can be valuable for evaluating the applicability of the existing pre-equilibrium calibration methods in semisolid samples.