A comparison study of nanofiber, microfiber, and new composite nano/microfiber polymers used as sorbents for on-line solid phase extraction in chromatography system

Three different approaches has been used to obtain nano/micro fibers and their diversity and extraction properties were examined. The effect of their structure on stability in an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system during on-line SPE procedure was monitored. Five types of various nano/micro fiber polymers were used as sorbents: polyamide 6 nanofibers, polyvinylidene difluoride nanofibers, polyethylene microfibers, and two new polycaprolactone microfiber/nanofiber and polycaprolactone microfibers/polyvinylidene difluoride nanofibers composite polymers. The fiber polymers were filled in a cartridge directly connected to the UHPLC system and tested. For each polymer, the optimal conditions of the on-line extraction were found and potential applicability on real samples was tested. The determination of ochratoxin A (OTA) in beer matrix was chosen as a case study. Relevant factors such as the mechanical and chemical stability of the nano/microfibers, filling the cartridges, fiber reusability and the possibility and the repeatability of all processes were involved in the proposed study. A new nano/micro composite sorbent consisting of polycaprolactone microfibers/polyvinylidene difluoride nanofibers was chosen as the most suitable sorbent for the on-line extraction of OTA from a beer matrix. The tested validation parameters had the value of intra-day precision lower than 1.48%, linearity in the range from 0.5 to 100 μg L−1 with r2 ≥ 0.9999 for standard and matrix calibration curve, and recovery in the range 99.1–103.9% at five concentration levels. Long-term precision evaluated for 31 analyses over the period of three months did not exceed 2.9% RSD. It confirmed the column reusability and perfect stability of nano/micro composite sorbent in the presence of organic solvents and after repeated injection of a complex beer matrix.
Polyamide 6, Polyvinylidene difluoride, Polycaprolactone, Polyethylene nanofibers, On-line extraction, Ochratoxin A