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Before drugs and endogenous substances can be measured in biological samples, they have to be isolated from the original sample. In SamplePrep@UiO, we focus on development of new concepts for such isolation, based on microextraction. 

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From left: 

Stig Pedersen-Bjergaard, Frederik Hansen, Grete Hasvold, Elisabeth Leere Øiestad, Linda Vårdal Eie, Torstein Kige Rye, Tonje Gottenberg Skaalvik, Maria Schüller, and Astrid Gjelstad.

Our Mission Is to

  • …develop microextraction (sample preparation) concepts for next generation analytical chemistry.
  • …stimulate and train young scientist in conceptual research.


Our research group is:
  • Small, creative, effective, and with strong international recognition.
  • Focused on international dissemination and collaboration. 

Our research is:

  • Focused on development of new analytical microextraction concepts, for extraction of drugs and endogenous substances from biological fluids (such as blood).
  • Currently devoted to electromembrane extraction (EME) and liquid-phase microextraction (LPME).
  • Motivated by the expectation that next generation analytical chemistry will largely rely on microextraction technologies for sample preparation.
  • Conceptual, and balanced between
    (a) fundamental science (theoretical understanding),
    (b) applied science (technical formats, forefront pharmaceutical and biomedical applications), and
    (c) commercialization.
  • Anchored in teaching, thereby stimulating the students in direction of pharmaceutical analytical chemistry.
  • Read more about our research here.
Every single day in our research group is:
  • A day in a creative, humoristic and kind atmosphere.
  • A day with new experiments.
At the end, we hope that:
  • Our concepts are used by routine laboratories, or
  • Our concepts have inspired other scientists into conceptual research, or
  • Students trained in our group are successful outside the university.

Research News 

  • Looking closer into the liquid membrane July 14, 2022 9:31 AM

    In electromembrane extraction, we transfer ionized drug molecules form a blood sample, across a liquid membrane (oil membrane) and into pure water under the influence of an electrical field. The liquid membrane is a few microliters of organic solvent. Over the years, we have learned that the chemical properties of the solvent are very important; they control the type of substances that are extracted (selectivity), and the extraction speed (kinetics). Recently, we summarized the accumulated information we have from 15 years with experiments, and discussed this in the context of molecular interactions; how molecules “talk to each other” during their travel across the liquid membrane. The fundamental understanding of this is crucial for development of new applications…


  • Thoughts on teaching chromatography. May 19, 2022 9:57 AM

    As analysts, we use analytical chromatography in our daily research and teaching. For many students, this ensemble of techniques may however be somewhat of a “black box” performed by an instrument that offers little-to-no clues as to how it works. In collaboration with friendly organic chemists at our department, we have therefore published a paper with a laboratory exercise that literally puts the chromatography into the hands of the students. In the exercise, students get the opportunity to pack and prepare a preparative column, mix mobile phases, load and elute compounds, and perform a visual detection, all while learning about concepts of retention mechanisms, gradient elution, and differences between preparative and analytical chromatography. Interested in reading more?

    Check out the (open access) paper...

  • An update to our current understanding of liquid membranes… May 19, 2022 9:40 AM

    Science is continually developing and so is our understanding of how the liquid membrane in electromembrane extraction (EME) should be designed. In this overview article, we have taken a closer look into the organic solvents used as liquid membranes, and provide an update to our current understanding of the preferred properties of solvents.


  • Membrane-based liquid-phase microextraction of basic pharmaceuticals – A study on the optimal extraction window Apr. 28, 2022 11:28 AM

    Extraction conditions for optimal performance in liquid-phase microextraction (LPME) and other extraction techniques are often based on trial-and-error experiments. By investigating the molecular interactions taking place between the analyte and the extraction system, we can build models that help us predict when an analyte is optimally extracted. In the below paper we combine existing theory on extraction kinetics and system equilibrium together with empirical data to build the fundamentals for better prediction models. We introduce the terms slow kinetics, optimal extraction window (OEW), and membrane trapping as a tool to describe the state of the extraction system.

    Read more on this topic...

  • The ten principles of green sample preparation Apr. 28, 2022 11:24 AM

    In a couple of decades, all chemistry will be green chemistry. However, we are not there yet! Analytical chemistry and sample preparation will follow this trend, and will go greener! In a new paper, we define the term “Green sample preparation” for the first time, and link it to the term “green analytical chemistry”. Green sample preparation is important, because sample preparation procedures often consumes significant amounts of chemicals, reagent, solvent, and materials. In this perspective, we expect our latest collaborative paper will play an important role!

    Read more…

  • More collaboration… Apr. 28, 2022 11:20 AM

    Collaboration plays a very important role in our research. We collaborate, among others, with colleagues on our own campus (Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo), in Spain (University of Seville), and in China (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan). In three recent papers focused on electromembrane extraction, we have investigated fundamental aspects, developed green microchip technology and investigated organ-on-chip drug metabolism, as part of this collaboration.


  • Green sample preparation Jan. 19, 2022 3:41 PM

    Green chemistry is a hot topic, and will be extremely important for generations to come. Although the consumption of chemicals is less in analytical chemistry than in chemical industry, green analytical chemistry is still very important. To make analytical chemistry green, we need to make sample preparation green. However, how green can it be? This, we recently addressed by merging microsampling and microextraction, for determination of drugs of abuse in the forensic laboratory.

    Read more about green sample preparation…

  • EME and microfluidics – state of the art Jan. 19, 2022 3:41 PM

    Geometry and size are highly flexible in electromembrane extraction (EME), and therefore EME is perfect with microfluidic systems. We have a strong feeling that such technology may be very important in future analytical chemistry, among others in combination with smartphone detection. However, microfluidic EME is in the early research phases, and the question remains how far development has come. In a recent paper, we answered this question together with our colleagues at the University of Copenhagen.

    Read more about EME and microfluidics…

  • Collaboration with colleagues in China and Czech Republic Jan. 19, 2022 3:41 PM

    For long time, we have collaborated with scientists in China and the Czech Republic. Such collaborations are extremely important for the development of electromembrane extraction, and this research has very high priority. Below you can read three scientific papers based on recent collaboration – these works have identified new applications and developed new fundamental understanding of high importance for the future.

    Read more …

  • Introducing EME to the clinical laboratory Nov. 11, 2021 10:04 AM

    Previous use of electromembrane extraction (EME) show promising results when pharmaceuticals are extracted from blood and urine samples. As EME offers advantages to traditional sample preparation, the technique has potential for routine bioanalytical measurements in the future. However, all current EME data are generated with laboratory-made equipment, as no standardized device is available. If EME is to be implemented in a routine setting, a commercially available EME device is required. In a recent paper, we tested a prototype for such device at a clinical laboratory. The device was used to extract psychoactive drugs from serum, and the developed EME-UHPLC-MS/MS method was fully validated and compared to the well-established routine method at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at St. Olav’s University Hospital (Trondheim, Norway).

    Read more about EME taking the step into clinical laboratories…

More ...
Published Nov. 20, 2018 10:47 AM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2022 9:07 AM