Efficient sample pre-concentration of bupivacaine from human plasma by solid-phase extraction on molecularly imprinted polymers
The ability to use imprinted polymers for solid-phase extraction is demonstrated in a model pre-concentration of bupivacaine from human plasma samples prior to gas chromatography. Imprinting of the structural analogue pentycaine yielded a sorbent which efficiently extracted analyte and internal standard, while possible interference on analyte quantification from leakage of remaining template molecules was eliminated. Human plasma samples were diluted with citrate buffer pH 5, and applied onto solid phase extraction columns containing 15 mg of imprinted sorbent. Wash steps with 20% methanol in water followed by acetonitrile preceded elution with 2% triethylamine in acetonitrile. A direct comparison with conventional sample pre-treatment methods showed the high selectivity of the imprinted sorbent resulted in distinctly cleaner chromatographic traces than were obtained both after liquid–liquid extraction and C18-based solid-phase extraction.