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Integration, selectivity and cost are prime drivers in chromatography

3rd December 2013


The latest chromatography technology releases focus on improved integration, better selectivity and lower operating costs for laboratory scientists. Sean Ottewell reports.

Shimadzu has launched version two of its GC/MS Metabolite Database which supports metabolomic analysis (metabolomics) using the company's Triple Quadrupole gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC/MS/MS) or Quadrupole gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC/MS).

It is based on joint research with the Shimane University Faculty of Medicine, Kobe University School of Medicine, and Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University, and on results obtained from the NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation) project 'Fundamental technology for promoting industrial application of human stem cells'.

This database increases the number of registered compound types to 511. It now also includes biological samples derived from blood and cells, in addition to those from urine. The company says it is the first commercial product in the world that contains a metabolite MRM database to support GC/MS/MS.

It contains the GC conditions suitable for the measurement of low-molecular metabolites and the optimal GC/MS and GC/MS/MS measurement parameters for each compound. This allows researchers to immediately start analysis work without the need for any complex parameter settings. The database also contains retention indices for the predictive calculation of retention times, allowing analysis to be started even when no metabolite standard samples are available. It supports metabolomics research for disease and drug evaluation and contributes to improvements in the productivity of biofuels and agricultural produce.

Meanwhile, Agilent's newly-launched 7000C Triple Quadrupole gas chromatography mass spectrometer system replaces the industry's best-selling GC/MS/MS, the 7000B. New capabilities enhance system performance, simplify method optimisation and lower operating costs.

The 7000C system integrates new ion-source technology that was introduced earlier this year on the company's 5977 Series GC/MSD and reinforces its market-leading GC/MS brand for trace analysis. The new system has an instrument detection limit of only 4fg octafluoronapththalene.

New integrated intelligence features shared by the 7890B GC and 7000C, plus new tools for Agilent's MassHunter software, support rapid method development, complete method optimisation and reduced energy consumption.

Terry Sheehan, GC/MS marketing director at Agilent, said: "The 7000C Triple Quadrupole GC/MS/MS, together with Agilent sample-preparation supplies, enables sensitive, selective and robust techniques for measuring trace components in complex matrices. In addition, our extensive MRM database of pesticides and environmental pollutants provides all the information needed for quick and easy method development."

A new standard in LC columns

Just released onto the market from Waters are CORTECS Columns, a new family of 1.6 micron solid-core UltraPerformance LC columns which the company says set a new standard in LC column performance. The higher efficiency brought to chromatography with CORTECS Columns allows laboratories to produce greater amounts of information faster with every chromatographic separation.

Available in C18, C18+ or HILIC chemistries, Waters offers the columns in 30 novel column configurations and is making them available for shipping worldwide (Fig.1). The company says that when used together with the low-dispersion ACQUITY UPLC, ACQUITY UPLC I-Class and ACQUITY UPLC H-Class Systems, CORTECS Columns offer previously unattainable levels of performance.

CORTECS Column particles feature a solid, impermeable silica core encased in a porous silica outer layer where the interactions between the stationary phase and the analytes occur. The three CORTECS chemistries and their intended uses are: CORTECS C18 Column - a general-purpose, high-efficiency, reversed-phase column offering balanced retention of acids, bases, and neutrals at low and mid-range pH; CORTECS C18+ Column - a general-purpose reversed-phase column with a positively charged surface that delivers excellent peak shape for basic compounds at low pH; and CORTECS HILIC Column - designed for the retention of extremely polar analytes while offering orthogonal selectivity versus C18 columns.

Modular ion chromatography

Cecil Instruments describes its new IonQuest as a top performance, modular ion chromatography system. The conductivity cell of the conductivity detector is enclosed with a heat exchanger in a precisely thermostatted enclosure. The temperature of the enclosure is controlled to better than +/-0.01°C. The working temperature may be set by the analyst to be between 25°C and 50°C and set with a default value of 35°C during production testing.

The system is easy to use by control panel operation, or by using the sophisticated Cecil PowerStream software for data acquisition, processing and reporting.

The modularity of the system enables its configuration to be changed with ease, for instance for use with a UV/visible detector. Modules may readily be replaced, to reduce down-time, should the need arise.

The very precisely temperature controlled oven accommodates anion and cation columns and pre-columns, as well as a background suppressor cartridge with its over-pressure protection valve. Close coupling to the detector provides high stability, low noise and low dispersion.

The CE 4710 conductivity detector used here is an entirely new design from Cecil Instruments, providing performance of the very highest order due to its exceptionally low noise and unrivalled baseline stability. To achieve this standard of performance a very low volume, 0.5µl conductivity cell has been designed and is operated in a precisely thermostatted aluminium oven enclosure. The specially designed, low dispersion heat exchanger is also mounted in the cell enclosure preceding the detector cell. The exchanger stabilises the temperature of the mobile phase entering the cell.

Sensitivity for the measurement of anions is greatly improved by reducing the conductivity of the eluent post column. An optional anion membrane suppressor - SAMS - is available which is mounted in the column oven, in series with and after the analytical column.

Finally, designed for both preparative and analytical purposes, GE Healthcare has launched Superdex 200 Increase SEC columns. They enable higher purity and improved protein analysis for a broad range of biomolecules.

The new columns are capable of delivering up to double the resolution in the same time or the same resolution in a half the time compared to Superdex 200. In addition, they are optimised for MAb separations.

Superdex 200 Increase pre-packed columns can be used for small-scale (µg-mg) high-resolution size exclusion chromatography (gel filtration) and for characterising a variety of different proteins with molecular weights between 10,000 and 600,000. They are available in three sizes - 10/300 GL, 5/150 GL, and 3.2/300 GL - and can be used with ÄKTA chromatography systems as well as with different HPLC systems.

New columns offer enhanced retenbtion of polar compunds

The first of two new releases from Advanced Chromatrography Technologies (ACT) is the ACE C18-Amide is a new, specially designed stationary phase offering enhanced retention of polar compounds with alternative selectivity to C18 based products.

The ACE C18-Amide provides retention for polar to non-polar analytes with multiple modes of interaction. It therefore perfectly complements the existing unique ACE portfolio products such as ACE C18-AR and ACE C18-PFP which provide alternative selectivity and ideal retention for moderately polar to non-polar analytes.

It will be available in 2µm, 3µm, 5µm and 10 µm particle sizes offering excellent peak shape, stability and robustness and still based on the same ultra-pure ACE silica. The new C18-Amide comes with all of the ACE portfolio characteristics such as reproducibility, high quality and performance, notes the company.

Second up are the ACE SuperC18 Ultra-Inert UHPLC and HPLC columns that exploit selectivity at low, intermediate and high pH and are ultra-inert for maximum performance and reproducibility.

According to the company, ACE SuperC18 UHPLC and HPLC columns are an idea column choice for method development: exploiting selectivity changes at low, intermediate and high pH and have an excellent column lifetime for reduced analysis costs.

ACE SuperC18 columns are recommended for high and low pH mobile phases from pH 1.5 to pH 11.5 and are specially designed for use with LC/MS compatible buffers.

With ultra-low bleed and rapid column equilibration without memory effects, while also being compatible with MeOH AND MeCN, the ACE SuperC18 UHPLC and HPLC columns also have improved LC/MS compatibility.





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