, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 257–264 | Cite as

In-Syringe Binary-Solvent Liquid-Phase Microextraction for the Preconcentration of Cinnamic Acid Derivatives in Traditional Chinese Medicine Samples

  • Xiao Yang
  • Xuan Chen
  • Shuang Hu
  • Xiao-hong Bai


An in-syringe binary-solvent liquid-phase microextraction (in-syringe BSLPME) coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection (HPLC/DAD) has been established and applied for the determination of four cinnamic acid derivatives (caffeic acid, p-hydroxycinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and cinnamic acid) in traditional Chinese medicine samples. In this method, 70 µL of n-pentanol/n-hexanol (5:5, v:v) mixture as extractant were added to the surface of a solution containing target analytes in a disposable syringe and the solution was manually shaken for a desired time. After the re-aggregation of binary-solvent droplets, the extraction phase was impelled out of the syringe for HPLC analysis. The variables influencing in-syringe BSLPME, such as extraction solvents (types, volume ratios, and volumes), extraction time, sample phase pH, ionic strength, sample volume, and disperser solvent, were investigated. Under the optimized conditions, the limits of detection were between 0.2 and 1.3 ng mL−1 with enrichment factors from 28 to 58. The calibration graphs were linear in the range of 1.0 × 10−2–7.0 µg mL−1 for caffeic acid, 1.3 × 10−3–1.9 µg mL−1 for p-hydroxycinnamic acid, 2.8 × 10−3–4.1 µg mL−1 for ferulic acid, and 2.7 × 10−3–4.1 µg mL−1 for cinnamic acid, with r 2 better than 0.9912. The precision expressed as relative standard deviation varied between 1.4 and 9.6%. In-syringe BSLPME was verified reliable for the determination of cinnamic acid derivatives in Chinese herbal medicines with recovery values from 94.2 to 106.7%. The proposed method was compared with other dispersive liquid-phase microextraction methods. Results showed that the developed method was easy-to-handle, efficient, and rapid for the analysis of active constituents in Chinese medicine samples.

Graphical abstract


High-performance liquid chromatography In-syringe binary-solvent dispersive liquid-phase microextraction Cinnamic acid derivatives Chinese medicine samples 



This study was supported by the Nature Science Foundation of Shanxi Province (No. 201701D121145), the Fund for Shanxi Key Subject Construction (2017), and the College Students Innovation Project of Shanxi Medical University (No. 20170702).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 364 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOC 149 kb)
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Supplementary material 5 (DOC 53 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao Yang
    • 1
  • Xuan Chen
    • 1
  • Shuang Hu
    • 1
  • Xiao-hong Bai
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PharmacyShanxi Medical UniversityTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

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