Supported Liquid Extraction (SLE) is a very efficient and economical sample preparation methodology. Extracting analytes from aqueous samples is achieved with a simple two-step protocol, i.e., loading and elution.In SLE, porous diatomaceous earth with high surface area and low chemical activity is packed as stationary support for liquid-liquid partition. While loading a sample, the aqueous sample solution passes through diatomaceous earth beads, allowed to adsorb via capillary action, forming a thin membrane. Then, a small volume of organic solvent percolates and produces an aqueous-organic interface. Because the mass transfer occurs in extreme short paths, analytes can partition very efficiently between the two phases.



  • High recoveries, more reproducible
  • Simplified protocols, less time-cosuming
  • No need to vigorous shaking, no emulsion formation
  • Using less amount of organic solvents, reducing cost
  • Easy to automation and parallel manipulation



SLE is widely used in food safety, environmental protection, clinical diagnosis, forensic science and material inspection. For example:

  • Analysis of drugs and drug metabolites in biological fluids, such as antidepressant sertraline and anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen
  • Determination of parabens in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs.



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