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Automated On-Line SPE-LC for HPLC Sample Preparation and Automation

Solid-phase extraction (SPE) is a technique that is commonly used in laboratories to isolate the analytes of interest from complex matrices. This technique is typically performed manually, but there are some significant disadvantages with this approach:

  • Manual (off-line) SPE is time-consuming as well as labor- and cost-intensive, and compromises productivity
  • Exposure to hazardous or infectious matrices (such as biofluids) involves safety issues
  • The recovery of the analyte can vary from batch to batch causing reproducibility problems

Automating of this process eliminates these issues and provides the following benefits:

  • Enables direct injection of untreated samples (e.g., plasma, urine, serum, vegetable oils, and surface water)
  • Automates sample cleanup and/or analyte enrichment
  • Eliminates conventional manual sample pretreatment steps
  • Faster, less expensive, and better automated methods are less prone to errors resulting in better reproducibility
  • Reduction of health risks, for instance, when handling biologically hazardous samples
  • Samples can be run unattended, for instance, overnight or over the weekend
  • Increased workload per system and, therefore, higher returns on investment

x2 Dual HPLC Systems provide you with the technology needed to fully automate the process and let you fully realize the power and performance of on-line SPE-LC. This technology is also available at pressures up to 1000 bar with the x2 Dual Rapid Separation System.

  • Chromeleon® wizard for on-line SPE-LC
  • Dual-gradient pump technology
  • Ease of use
  • System setup and qualification services

Chromeleon Wizard for On-Line SPE-LC

Traditionally, the barrier to working with an on-line SPE-LC system is high. The creation of an instrument method that can automate all steps is a complicated, time-consuming, and error-prone process. The intelligent LC solutions provided by the Chromeleon Chromatography Data System eliminate these problems. A built-in on-line SPE-LC wizard guides you through the steps required for creating and optimizing a method. No special training in this technique is required. With the Chromeleon CDS, you are able to use these advanced features as soon as the instrument is installed in your laboratory.

Dual-Gradient Pump Technology

Our unique x2 Dual technology makes it easy to load an untreated sample onto an extraction column (using one pump) and then to wash the analytes from this column onto an analytical column using a second pump.


Flow scheme for automated on-line SPE-LC.


Chromatograms from the on-line solid-phase extraction of catecholamines in human urine (courtesy of Laboratory of BioSeparation, Institute of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Munich, Germany) . The UltiMate 3000 technology ensures high reproducibility of the peak retention time and peak area through standardized cleanup, and ruggedly high recovery.


Chromeleon software provides an intuitive instrument interface that makes it easy to monitor and optimize your method. The interface can be easily customized so that the information you need for your application is immediately available. No matter how complex your process is, Chromeleon CDS provides the tools to help you easily visualize it and work with it.

System Setup and Qualification Services

As well as providing all modules required for on-line SPE-LC, Dionex provides all necessary tubing along with clear instructions on how to connect the modules. The system can be quickly configured and is operational in the shortest possible time. System validation is no longer a chore. Load your samples, select the desired tests, and leave. AutoQ qualification suite completes all IQ, OQ, and PQ procedures.