Register – Understanding the Role of SPE for Clean-Up of Biological Matrices in Bioanalysis


When performing quantitative bioanalytical methods, understanding how to prepare a sample for analysis requires several considerations. This module series will introduce all common types of sample preparation used in the bioanalytical laboratory space and then will focus primarily on solid-phase extraction (SPE) which yields the highest cleanliness of sample extracts. Gaining a fundamental understanding of how SPE works, what benefits SPE provides, and what SPE devices are available in the laboratory will be a main focus, from learning about reversed-phase and mixed-mode ion exchange retention mechanisms, to selecting a sorbent, device format, and processing method. More insight into how matrix interferences, such as phospholipids, can cause issues in an LC-MS method and system will be reviewed including an overview of the electrospray ionization process and discussion of ion suppression. Finally, calculations for successful method design and tips for troubleshooting and method optimization will conclude the series.

Series Learning Goals:

  • Learn that SPE provides the highest level of sample clean-up across all sample preparation techniques leading to a number of benefits in a bioanalytical workflow
  • Understand how SPE retention mechanisms work
  • Learn about how matrix interferences can negatively impact an LC-MS method and instrument
  • Understand how to select an SPE sorbent and device
  • Review the calculations to determine a successful SPE method implementation and introduce how to troubleshoot and optimize if necessary

The available tutorials in this course include:

  • [Part 1] The Benefits of Good Sample Preparation
  • [Part 2] SPE Retention: Reversed-Phase and Mixed-Mode
  • [Part 3] The Electrospray Process and Impact of Common Matrix Ions on an LC-MS Method
  • [Part 4] Selecting a Sorbent, Format, and Starting Method
  • [Part 5] Before You Load: Sample Matrix and Pre-Treatment
  • [Part 6] Designing a Successful Experiment
  • [Part 7] Optimizing Your SPE Method

The Presenter
Chelsea Plummer (Senior Product Marketing Manager, Waters)
Chelsea Plummer has worked with small molecules and peptides using LC-MS for over 10 years. Beginning at Purdue University, Chelsea has specialized in research of acidic biological molecules using negative ion LC-MS high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Since joining Waters, she has helped customers successfully implement LC-MS workflows, from selecting a sample preparation device, to training customers on HRMS. Today, Chelsea manages the Oasis product line and focuses on small molecule applications.