Sample preparation has been recognized as a major step in the chemical analysis workflow. As such, substantial efforts have been made in recent years to simplify the overall sample preparation process. Major focusses of these efforts have included miniaturization of the extraction device; minimizing/eliminating toxic and hazardous organic solvent consumption; eliminating sample pre-treatment and post-treatment steps; reducing the sample volume requirement; reducing extraction equilibrium time, maximizing extraction efficiency etc. All these improved attributes are congruent with the Green Analytical Chemistry (GAC) principles. Classical sample preparation techniques such as solid phase extraction (SPE) and liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) are being rapidly replaced with emerging miniaturized and environmentally friendly techniques such as Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME), Stir bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE), Micro Extraction by Packed Sorbent (MEPS), Fabric Phase Sorptive Extraction (FPSE), and Dispersive Liquid-Liquid Micro Extraction (DLLME). In addition to the development of many new generic extraction sorbents in recent years, a large number of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) created using different template molecules have also enriched the large cache of microextraction sorbents. Application of nanoparticles as high-performance extraction sorbents has undoubtedly elevated the extraction efficiency and method sensitivity of modern chromatographic analyses to a new level. Combining magnetic nanoparticles with many microextraction sorbents has opened up new possibilities to extract target analytes from sample matrices containing high volumes of matrix interferents. The aim of the current review is to critically audit the progress of microextraction techniques in recent years, which has indisputably transformed the analytical chemistry practices, from biological and therapeutic drug monitoring to the environmental field; from foods to phyto-pharmaceutical applications.
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