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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, Grete Hasvold, Frederik Hansen, Linda Vårdal Eie, Maria Schüller, Torstein Kige Rye, Tonje Gottenberg Skaalvik, Elisabeth Leere Øiestad, 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 

  • World record…? Feb. 17, 2021 11:21 AM

    Extraction of very polar and water-soluble compounds is a great challenge, because they tend to stay in the aqueous sample for solubility reasons. Although extraction is supported by an electrical field in electromembrane extraction (EME), polar substances are difficult even with EME. Our job is to address such challenges, and therefore we are currently developing EME for very polar endogenous metabolites and pharmaceuticals. One example is streptomycin, an antibiotic drug. Recently, we extracted this compound successfully with EME, and as far as we know, this is the most polar substance ever extracted with EME!

    Read the paper...

  • Back to the basics... Jan. 4, 2021 1:17 PM

    Development of new applications of electromembrane extraction (EME) is highly important for the implementation of the technique. However, understanding the fundamentals is equally important; to give the concept a scientific anchor and to develop predictability. In two recent papers, we studied in more details molecular interactions and acid-base equilibria during EME. If you look into these papers, you will see that new fundamental understanding was developed directly from concepts and tools from the first chemistry course…

    Read the first paper...

    Read the second paper...

  • Collaboration with Czech scientists… Jan. 4, 2021 1:17 PM

    Foreign PhD students often visit our laboratory for a couple of months to get experience with EME/LPME and to conduct common research. Hana Bavlovic Piskackova from Charles University visited us just before COVID, did some experiments in Oslo, brought with her 96-well EME plates back to Czech Republic, and finished work with anthracyclines…

    Read the paper...

  • Testing the first commercial device for EME… Jan. 4, 2021 1:17 PM

    The Norwegian company Extraction Technologies Norway ( has developed commercial equipment for EME, and we were the first to test this. A unique product based on vials of conducting polymer…

  • A critical review… Jan. 4, 2021 1:17 PM

    Liquid-phase microextraction (LPME) has been around for 20 years, but still there is no use in routine laboratories. To pass that door, we need to improve the applications published in the scientific literature; use state-of-the-art instrumentation and address the hot applications…

    Read the paper...

  • Soap… Jan. 4, 2021 1:16 PM

    Detergents (soap) present in samples is a challenge in analytical chemistry, because they tend to interfere with measurements based on mass spectrometry. Most detergents are charged molecules, and therefore we tested electromembrane extraction for their fast and efficient removal…

    Read the paper...

  • magnus-disputas-bilde Magnus Saed Restan defended his PhD thesis Nov. 26, 2020 8:50 AM

    On November 18, Magnus Saed Restan defended his PhD thesis “Electromembrane extraction – enhanced theoretical understanding and new applications”.

  • Does matrix ions affect electromembrane extraction June 23, 2020 3:56 PM

    Looking through publications on electromembrane extraction (EME), it is somewhat unclear if matrix ions in the sample affect the extraction of the compounds of interest. Recently, we have looked into this very fundamental question...

    Read the paper...

  • New understanding how carriers work in electromembrane extraction June 23, 2020 3:55 PM

    For electromembrane extraction of polar substances, we need a carrier in the liquid membrane. Often, we use di(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate (DEHP) as carrier, but do we really know how this is working? This question we investigated recently in very fundamental work...

    Read the paper...

  • Eliminating changes in pH during electromembrane extraction... June 23, 2020 3:52 PM

    During electromembrane extraction (EME), electrolysis inevitably takes place in the aqueous sample and acceptor, by oxidation and reduction of water. Due to this, pH may change, and the system becomes less stable. Recently, we developed an AgCl electrode for EME to avoid pH changes. With our new electrode, electrochemistry takes place on the electrode surface rather than in water…

    Read the paper...

More ...
Published Nov. 20, 2018 10:47 AM - Last modified Feb. 8, 2021 2:00 PM