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Biological Samples in Environmental Analysis: Preparation and Cleanup

Environment: Water and Waste

  1. Frank A. Kero1,
  2. Dana B. Barr2,
  3. Benjamin C. Blount2,
  4. Douglas B. Mawhinney3

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0807.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Kero, F. A., Barr, D. B., Blount, B. C. and Mawhinney, D. B. 2009. Biological Samples in Environmental Analysis: Preparation and Cleanup. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Revogenex Inc., Winder, GA, USA

  2. 2

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Division of Laboratory Sciences (DLS), Atlanta, GA, USA

  3. 3

    Southern Nevada Water Authority, Research and Development, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


The characterization of biological systems on a molecular level has led to sweeping developments in industries including pharmaceuticals, consumer product manufacturing, and environmental monitoring. The integrity of the sample preparation process is critical for development and discovery efforts in these fields. The art of biological sample preparation is in a perpetual state of evolution where boundaries and limitations reflect the sophistication of contemporary technology. Historical methods required laborious multistep procedures that resulted in analytical measurements with limited throughput and poor detection limits due to analyte losses. Present efforts in the scientific community are moving toward automated methods that require minimal sample volume and minimal sample cleanup. This change in the approach is due to the increasing selectivity of analytical systems that allow analyte separation and purification to be performed online with a variety of detectors. Trends of this nature are consistent with the so-called “green chemistry” efforts, where less solvent consumption provides a more environmental friendly (and cost effective) platform for the next stage of development in this field. This article revisits historical approaches and describes current trends in the preparation of biological samples.


  • biological specimen;
  • biomonitoring;
  • sample preparation;
  • extraction;
  • green chemistry;
  • automation;
  • miniaturization