A novel sample preparation technique named capsule phase microextraction (CPME) is presented here. The technique utilizes a miniaturized microextraction capsule (MEC) as the extraction medium. The MEC consists of two conjoined porous tubular polypropylene membranes, one of which encapsulates the sorbent through sol-gel technology, while the other encapsulates a magnetic metal rod. As such, MEC integrates both the extraction and stirring mechanisms into a single device. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the application potential of CPME as sample preparation technique for the extraction of a group of personal care products (PCPs) from water matrices. Among the different sol-gel sorbent materials (UCON®, poly(caprolactone-dimethylsiloxane-caprolactone) (PCAP-DMS-CAP) and Carbowax 20M (CW-20M)) evaluated, CW-20M MEC demonstrated the best extraction performance for the selected PCPs. The extraction conditions for sol-gel CW-20M MEC were optimized, including sample pH, stirring speed, addition of salt, extraction time, sample volume, liquid desorption solvent, and time. Under the optimal conditions, sol-gel CW-20M MEC provided recoveries, ranging between 47 and 90% for all analytes, except for ethylparaben, which showed a recovery of 26%. The method based on CPME with sol-gel CW-20M followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was developed and validated for the extraction of PCPs from river water and effluent wastewater samples. When analyzing different environmental samples, some analytes such as 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone, 2,2-dihydroxy-4-4 methoxybenzophenone and 3-benzophenone were found at low ng L-1.
Keywords: Capsule phase microextraction; Environmental water samples; Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; Microextraction capsule; Personal care products.