solid phase extraction

(SPE) - A sample-preparation technique that uses a solid-phase packing contained in a small plastic cartridge. The solid stationary phases are the same as HPLC packings; however, the principle is the same as in frontal chromatography. The process as most often practiced requires four steps: conditioning the sorbent, adding the sample, washing away the impurities, and eluting the sample in as small a volume as possible with a strong solvent.