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Markes International becomes licensed world commercial supplier of thin-film solid-phase microextraction (TF-SPME)

publication date: Jan 29, 2020
author/source: Markes International Limited


Markes International Ltd has entered into a licensing and supply agreement with JP Scientific Ltd, producer and patent holder of thin-film solid-phase microextraction (TF-SPME), allowing Markes to supply the novel sampling device worldwide for a wide range of applications.

TF-SPME is a sampling technique that uses carbon mesh sheets impregnated with sorbent phase(s). It is similar to the well-known technique of SPME, but relative to fiber SPME, both the volume of extraction phase and the surface area to volume ratio are significantly larger due to its flat planar geometry and sorbent phase concentration.

Like SPME it can be used to extract volatile and semi-volatile analytes from solids and liquids, using immersive or headspace techniques, often with higher sensitivity – making it an ideal sampling tool for ultra-trace level analysis. It’s also very flexible and therefore robust for use in harsh environments.

Both SPME and TF-SPME were invented by Professor Janusz Pawliszyn from the University of Waterloo – a founder and board member of JP Scientific Ltd. While SPME has been commercially available for many years, up until now TP-SPME has only been available in a very limited supply through direct collaboration with JP Scientific.

Professor Pawliszyn said “JP Scientific’s mission is to facilitate the implementation of green analytical chemistry into practice through partners such as Markes, who are as keen as we are to develop sampling devices, apparatus and protocols which make sensitive and environmentally friendly analytical approaches possible”.

“Through our licensing and supply agreement with Markes, researchers around the globe will have a reliable and consistent source of supply of TF-SPME. This is a landmark moment in analytical science, as it will meet the growing need for more sensitive and yet robust sampling.”

Andy Hardwick, Commercial Director of Markes’ parent company, Schauenburg Analytics Ltd agreed, adding: “Through this agreement Markes will be able to offer clients a hard-to-rival level of expertise and support, instrumentation, accessories and consumables to enhance the analytical capability of GC–MS. The improved sensitivity in the sampling of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds afforded by TF-SPME will be particularly helpful in water quality, environmental, forensic, food, flavour and fragrance applications.”

Hardwick continued: “Markes’ and The University of Waterloo’s collaboration has in many ways been facilitated through the University’s long-standing relationship with Markes’ sister company, SepSolve Analytical Ltd. In fact, SepSolve very recently opened its newest base in Waterloo to be nearer to the University and further develop this alliance.

“Both Markes and SepSolve are part of Schauenburg Analytics Ltd; Markes manufactures and sells instrumentation for sample preparation and concentration, including thermal desorption, SPME, headspace and HiSorb™ high-capacity sorptive extraction. It also supplies a comprehensive range of instruments, sampling equipment and supplies that enhance the analytical capability of GC–MS.

“SepSolve provides tailored product and application packages for the analytical workflow process from sampling through to detection, including GC×GC and time-of-flight mass spectrometry, all brought together with powerful software in order to extract maximum analytical data and deliver faster throughput.

“Together, the two companies form a network of Schauenburg Analytics technical centres around the world, serving the needs of customers not just through the provision of instrumentation and equipment, but also through their combined knowledge base and partnerships developed with academic institutions. The TF-SPME licensing and supply agreement is a perfect example of this dynamic in practice.”

Markes will be launching its TF-SPME fibres and starter kits for its thermal desorption instruments in early 2020. The company will also be featuring the new range at Pittcon 2020 and Analytica Germany 2020.


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