Microextraction Capsules: A Field Deployable Green Sample Preparation Device


Florida International University (FIU) is interested in pursuing business partnerships for developing and commercializing Microextraction Capsules (MEC), a new generation green sample preparation technology, that eliminates time consuming, labor intensive and error prone sample pretreatment steps such as filtration, centrifugation, protein precipitation to remove matrix interferents prior to the extraction of target analyte(s), as well as, post-sample preparation treatments such as solvent evaporation and sample reconstitution, from the sample preparation procedure. The MEC are capable of extracting target analyte(s) directly from unaltered sample matrices of biological, chemical, environmental, food, pharmaceutical, toxicological, and forensic significance containing high volume of matrix interferents without requiring any sample clean-up approaches prior to the extraction of the target analyte(s).

Due to the high loading of the extraction sorbent, MEC is capable of handling direct extraction from a broad range of concentrations of the analyte(s). The sponge-like porous architecture of the sol-gel hybrid inorganic-organic sorbents used in MEC results in the achievement of very fast extraction equilibrium. MEC utilizes a porous membrane to enclose sol-gel derived high efficiency extraction sorbents that works as a filter to safeguard the integrity of the sorbent and to permeate the aqueous solution through it for rapid sorbent-analyte interaction. The porous membrane also houses a small magnet in order to rotate the device at a set speed under the magnetic field and significantly enhances the mass transfer kinetic between the sample and the micro extraction capsule. The elution process of extracted analytes can be carried out by exposing the MEC to high temperatures in a thermal desorption unit followed by purging the released analytes into the gas chromatography inlet by carrier gas flow or by exposing the MEC to a small volume of organic solvent to back-extract the analyte which can be injected into gas chromatography or liquid chromatography for detection and quantification.


This technology is capable of performing efficient extraction and pre-concentration of organic analytes, cations, anions and heavy metals from a variety of sources including: (i) Forensic specimens such as blood, urine, plasma, serum, saliva.; (ii) Pollutants from environment water; (iii) Chemical and pharmaceutical samples; (iv) drug or poison residues from biological samples and (v) food samples.

  • Integrates the advanced material properties of sol-gel inorganic/hybrid organic-inorganic polymeric networks offering (i) adjustable porosity; (ii) tunable selectivity; (iii) high thermal and solvent stability; (iv) wide range of pH stability (1-13)
  • Provides a tubular porous membrane capable of retaining and protecting the extraction sorbent; while keeping it accessible to the aqueous solution containing the analytes of interest.
  • • Promotes faster analyte mass transfer by providing a magnetic stirring mechanism resulting in a standalone solvent minimized or solvent-less micro extraction device which provides near exhaustive extraction even under equilibrium extraction conditions.

For additional information about this technology opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Garami at egarami@fiu.edu or by phone at 305-348-0008 and ask about record IP 1508.