Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) was invented in 1990 by Dr. Janusz Pawliszyn and colleagues from the University of Waterloo in Canada. The purpose of creating this technique was to address the need for a fast, solvent-free, and field compatible sample preparation method. It consists of coated fibers that are used to isolate and concentrate analytes into a range of coating materials. Once extracted, the fibers are transferred to an analytical instrument, such as the FLEX :

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for separation and quantification of the target analytes. This is accomplished via a syringe-like device that protects the sample while transferring to the instrument. The quantity of analyte extracted by the fiber is proportional to its concentration once equilibrium is reached.


Some major advantages of the SPME method are :

  • The absence of solvents is environmentally friendly, speeds up seperation, and increases throughput.
  • Small in size, thus excellent for field work.
  • Extremely cost efficient in comparison to alternate extraction methods
  • When properly stored, the samples can be analyzed days later without significant loss of VOC’s


The EST Analytical FLEX provides automation to your liquid or headspace SPME analysis, including fiber conditioning, sample extraction, and fiber desorption. Derivatization can be performed on the fiber or reagents added to the sample prior to extraction. The FLEX can handle all commercially available fibers.