State-Of-The-Art Solutions in Chromatography

Louise Smyth introduces some innovative new systems from the chromatography experts

Always a fast-moving sector in terms of product announcements, chromatography solutions have been hitting the market in a flurry in recent months. Here, we highlight a number of new products that showcase the current state-of-the-art in chromatography systems.

US firm Agilent Technologies has recently introduced the Agilent 8697 Headspace Sampler, its first headspace sampler with integrated gas chromatography communication. “We recognised the increasing needs of our customers, especially in the pharma space, to have greater remote access and increased instrument intelligence,” explains Mike Zhang, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Gas Phase Separations Division. “With the introduction of Intuvo four years ago and the 8890 and 8860 GCs two years ago, we have been expanding the intelligence, diagnostics, and troubleshooting capabilities of our GC platforms.”

The 8697 offers several benefits. Advanced hardware features, such as a microchannel-based EPC (electronic pneumatic control) module with atmospheric pressure compensation and valve-based sampling, allow for excellent precision and performance. Users will also have increased troubleshooting capabilities, more robust connections between the HS and GC system, and integrated instrument connectivity through the increased headspace-gas chromatography system intelligence.

On a more detailed level, removable sample racks can be exchanged while the headspace sampler is operating so that customers can add samples while the sequence is running. An isolated carrier flow path allows for alternate carrier gas use and safely vents vials. Also, because the complete HS-GC system is on the GC touchscreen, customers can easily communicate with it anywhere the lab network will allow.

In the Waters

Meanwhile, Waters has just launched a new MAM workflow for the BioAccord LC-MS system. The new workflow will enable drug development, manufacturing and QC scientists to monitor efficacy and safety through the analysis of critical quality attributes (CQAs) of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and other protein-based drugs.

“The BioAccord System moves attribute-based monitoring out of centralised MS labs and into the hands of more scientists in regulated and quality control laboratories who may not have extensive experience operating mass spectrometers,” says Jeff Mazzeo from Waters. “With this new method for the BioAccord System on the waters_connect platform, scientists have a single, sensitive multiplexed method to accurately assess the most important attributes of protein-based drugs that enable rapid decision-making for product development, manufacturing and release.”

Latest Model

In another new development, US-headquartered Torrey Pines Scientific has launched its new EchoTherm Model CO50 Programmable HPLC column chiller/heater.

The unit has a temperature range from 4.0°C to 100.0°C readable and settable to 0.1°C. The PID control software regulates temperatures to ±0.2°C, even at ambient. The CO50 has a stable temperature LED that illuminates when the target temperature is stable to within ±0.2°C.

The Peltier-based CO50 has five-program memory of 10 steps per program and the ability to repeat any program from 1 to 99 times automatically. It is ideal for chiral and biomedical chromatography where below ambient temperatures help preserve bioactivity. It can be used for stabilising column temperatures from day to day at or near room temperatures for repeatable results. The CO50 holds columns up to 30cm long by ¼in or 3/8in diameter in mounting clips provided. Larger diameter columns can be used by removing the column clips that hold the smaller columns.

It features RS232 I/O port for controlling the unit by a chromatograph, for programming gradients, and for data collection. Also included are an injection counter, 30-day timer with user settable Auto-Off and chamber drain for spills.

Advanced Solutions

In liquid chromatographs news, Shimadzu has launched its Advanced i-Series products. The Prominence-i HPLC and Nexera-i UHPLC systems feature pressures of 50MPa or 70MPa respectively and can be combined with a variety of detectors. The Advanced i-Series meets user demands for analysing a large number of samples or quickly re-processing data even when working from home.

Retaining the basic functions of the compact i-Series instruments, the Advanced i-Series boasts increased pressure resistance and additional functions to support remote work. Both the system itself and the dedicated software enable reliable data acquisition for all users, with automation to replicate the handling of expert operators.

The Advanced i-Series applies analytical intelligence automated features such as mobile phase monitoring for continuous analysis, a mobile phase flowrate control function, and i-PeakFinder for automatic peak integration. Analytical Intelligence relieves operators from organisational, input and processing works as it allows systems to detect and resolve issues automatically, enabling users to easily review instrument status, optimise resource allocation and achieve higher throughput. It makes lab management simple and enables higher productivity, maximum reliability and better connectivity.

Meeting the Needs of Chromatography Labs

Porvair Sciences has launched its new generation Ultravap Levante nitrogen blowdown sample evaporator. The second-generation system offers the benefits associated with Porvair’s flagship evaporator, the Ultravap Mistral, in an affordable, easy-to-use package. This single microplate evaporator is designed to meet the current needs of most chromatography laboratories whilst providing the future option of fully automating sample dry-down in applications such as LC/MS analysis, dry recovery or reconstitution.

The compact, standalone Ultravap Levante is fully programmable and easy to control from a robot liquid handler. Its advanced head technology enables delivery of evaporation temperatures up to 80°C for faster solvent evaporation rates. If required, the system has the option to be fitted with ducted fan fume extraction.

Operated via an intuitive graphical colour LED touchscreen, software features includes up to five stored alphanumerically named programmes and multi-step evaporation programmes. This functionality combined with real-time run displays showing actual gas temperature, gas flow rate and stage height means the system puts the user in full control of the evaporation process. A removable acrylic splash guard safeguards the operator and also ensures efficient removal of the solvent vapour from the evaporation table.

A Versatile Solution

The new HK Series Multi Detector GPC/SEC system from Testa Analytical Solutions combines high-performance chromatographic detector technologies and powerful yet easy to use software to unlock the secrets of even the most complex synthetic polymers and natural macromolecules.

Gel permeation chromatography/size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC) is widely accepted as the analytical technique of choice to characterise polymers and separate mixtures into fractions including polymer, oligomer, monomer and any non-polymeric additives. GPC/SEC is also the ‘go-to’ technique for characterising the molecular weight distribution of polymers.

However, increasingly widespread use of more complex synthetic polymers and macromolecules of natural origin such as proteins and peptides, requires advanced characterisation technologies to allow researchers to gain a thorough understanding of their shape, structure and related physical properties. GPC/SEC systems combining measurements from multiple detectors not only provides increased amounts of data, but also information, which is available due to the combination of different detectors that would not be obtainable using the individual detectors separately.

With the new HK Series Multi-Detector GPC/SEC System, users can choose from a wide combination of detectors including differential refractive index (DRI), multiple angle light scattering (MALS), viscometry, ultraviolet (UV) and flow measurement.

This versatile system can be used to analyse a wide range of polymers, regardless of molecular weight range or solvent. The combination of these different sensitive detectors can deliver accurate, absolute molecular weight, size and distribution information as well as useful data to derive fundamental parameters such as radius of gyration, concentration, intrinsic viscosity, specific refractive index increment (dn/dc) and second virial coefficient.

Recent Issues