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Guest editor Jared L. Anderson introduces the LCGC supplement 'Advances in Sample Preparation'.
Sample preparation plays a very important role in chemical analysis, and has become an integral step before chromatographic separations. Depending on the sample matrix and the overall goal of analysis, the sample preparation approach used can range from “dilute and shoot” to more laborious solid-phase extraction methods. With ongoing advances accelerating chromatographic separations, sample preparation methods must exhibit most, if not all, of the following characteristics: They must be capable of achieving rapid and high enrichment or preconcentration of target analytes; they must be tolerant of matrix effects; they must exhibit robustness under conditions commonly encountered during sampling and analysis steps; and they must demonstrate compatibility with downstream chromatographic and mass spectrometry methods. The field of sample preparation is undergoing revolutionary change, largely governed by the need for miniaturization while maintaining high selectivity and high analyte enrichment. This change has catalysed the development of new sorbent materials, as well as the design of creative geometries that possess high surface areas and facilitate rapid diffusion of analytes from a variety of samples. This supplement highlights three cutting-edge applications that illustrate some of the important advances in sample preparation.
Jared L. Anderson is a professor of chemistry at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, USA. Direct correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org