Vessel for Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME) Chemical Sampling
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) have further developed the Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME) process. This a process whereby chemicals of interest are selectively and competitively adsorbed onto a silica fiber coated by a stationary chemical phase. The adsorption process starts with the exposure of the fiber to the sample of interest and continues for the length of the exposure time. The silica fiber is a commercial off-the-shelf device available from SUPELCO (products for analysis and purification). In order to quantify the chemicals that are adsorbed onto the fiber, the fiber is inserted into the injector port of a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GCMS). The chemicals are volatilized in the GCMS and analyzed using standard laboratory methods. Under commercial operations, the fibers are mounted into syringe-like holders that are used to extend the fibers and handle the fibers. Exposure to both liquid and gas environments is appropriate.
The present technology provides only for manual sampling and analysis methods in human-accessible locations in order to acquire a sample in fluid. The inventors at JHU/APL have improved the present technology by: 1) Providing for a self-contained sample collection and SPME fiber exposure means for locations that are not accessible to humans (i.e. onboard an unmanned undersea vehicle). 2) Using a sealed vessel that prevents degradation of the fluid sample prior to analysis while allowing the SPME fiber to remain in equilibrium with the sample. This IP is applicable to any field or business linked to chemistry, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, environmental monitoring.
Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 6957592 issued.
*APL is currently seeking a licensee for this technology.
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