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Special Issue "Sample Preparation-Quo Vadis: Current Status of Sample Preparation Approaches"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Analytical Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Victoria Samanidou
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Prof. Irene Panderi
Guest Editor
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Interests: Pharmaceutical Analysis, Bioanalysis, Cosmetics, Cancer Research, Mass spectrometry imaging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sample preparation is and will always be the most important step in chemical analysis. Numerous techniques, methods, methodologies, and approaches are published in the literature, offering a wide range of analytical tools to the lab practitioner. Analytical scientists all over the world try to develop protocols for a plethora of analytes in various sample matrices. In the past decade advances in sample pre-treatment followed the demand for green chemistry and green analytical chemistry, focusing on miniaturization and automation, using the least possible amount of organic solvents. The question is, how far have we come, and what are the future perspectives? Analytical chemists are invited to share their experience in the field and report on the recent advances in sample preparation approaches.

Prof. Dr. Victoria Samanidou
Prof. Irene Panderi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sample preparation
  • sample pretreatment
  • extraction techniques
  • microextraction techniques
  • green analytical chemistry
  • miniaturization
  • automated techniques

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Multidimensional Liquid Chromatography Employing a Graphene Oxide Capillary Column as the First Dimension: Determination of Antidepressant and Antiepileptic Drugs in Urine
Molecules 2020, 25(5), 1092; - 29 Feb 2020
Human mental disorders can be currently classified as one of the most relevant health topics. Including in this are depression and anxiety, which can affect us at any stage of life, causing economic and social problems. The treatments involve cognitive psychotherapy, and mainly [...] Read more.
Human mental disorders can be currently classified as one of the most relevant health topics. Including in this are depression and anxiety, which can affect us at any stage of life, causing economic and social problems. The treatments involve cognitive psychotherapy, and mainly the oral intake of pharmaceutical antidepressants. Therefore, the development of analytical methods for monitoring the levels of these drugs in biological fluids is critical. Considering the current demand for sensitive and automated analytical methods, the coupling between liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, combined with suitable sample preparation, becomes a useful way to improve the analytical results even more. Herein we present an automated multidimensional method based on high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry using a lab-made, graphene-based capillary extraction column connected to a C8 analytical column to determined five pharmaceutical drugs in urine. A method enhancement was performed by considering the chromatographic separation and the variables of the loading phase, loading time, loading flow, and injection volume. Under optimized conditions, the study reports good linearity with R2 > 0.98, and limits of detection in the range of 0.5–20 µg L−1. Afterward, the method was applied to the direct analysis of ten untreated urine samples, reporting traces of citalopram in one of them. The results suggest that the proposed approach could be a promising alternative that provides direct and fully automated analysis of pharmaceutical drugs in complex biological matrices. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Sample preparation and extraction methods for therapeutic antifungal agents
Authors: Thomas J Walsh and colleagues
Affiliation: Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA
Abstract: To be provided.

Title: Methodology for the Preparation of Cosmetic Products for the Purpose of Analytical Composition of Heavy Metals using Atomic Spectroscopy
Authors: Papadopoulos Apostolos and Varvaresou Athanasia
Affiliation: Laboratory of Chemistry-Biochemistry-Cosmetic, Science,Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Abstract: The preparation of a cosmetic specimen in cosmetic science for the purpose of the analytical composition of heavy and toxic metals such as lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) is of particular importance due to the difficulty of handling of the sample. There are two main methods of preparation. The first method is the wet digestion of the sample with strong acids such as H2SO4, HNO3, HF, HNO3 / HCl (1: 3) and the combination of strong acid with H2O2. Liquid digestion of the sample under the influence of strong acids damages the organic structure of the sample and converts the carbon into carbon dioxide. The contained metals are oxidized to the highest oxidizing step and converted to soluble salts. A problem with this method is the loss of metals during digestion because it occurs at high temperatures as well as the decrease in the concentration of residual acid. The second method of preparation is the wet liquid digestion of the sample with strong acids in a microwave oven in a closed vessel. The acids which are used, are mainly HNO3 or mixtures of acids such as HNO3-HCl and HNO3-H2SO4. When the sample in the acid's solvent, is exposed to microwave energy then it could be reached temperatures substantially above the boiling temperature of the acid solution. The result is the decomposition of the organic material, the oxidation of the metals and their conversion to soluble nitrates. The advantages of using microwaves are the ability to control the temperature, pressure and loss of metals and thus avoid getting erroneous measurement results.

Title: Sponges and sponge like materials in sample preparation in analytical chemistry
Authors: Theodoros G. Chatzimitakos, Constantine D. Stalikas*
Affiliation: Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
Abstract: As the instrumental advancements in analytical chemistry are limited, much emphasis is placed on sample preparation. To this end, researchers develop new sorbent materials, to improve and replace existing ones, with the ultimate goal to improve current methods and make them more efficient and effective. What seemed like a trend in sample preparation a few years ago it was the use of sponge or sponge-like materials (e.g. foams). These materials possess favorable characteristics, such as negligible weight, open-hole structure, high surface area and variable surface chemistry. On account of these properties their use had been promising but soon this trend reversed. Nowadays, with the development of new base materials, such as melamine, along with the advancement of nanotechnology, this topic has "revived" and various functionalizations have been carried out on such spongy materials. The new materials are used as sorbents in sample preparation in analytical chemistry. This review explores the development of such materials, from the past to the present and into the future and their use in analytical chemistry.

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