Mom – the Ultimate Chromatographer: Insights into HPLC and GC Chromatography

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Tips for helping scientists improve HPLC column and GC column analysis for the pharmaceutical, environmental, food and beverage, clinical, and toxicology industries

Mom Knew Her Way Around an HPLC Column

Mom – the Ultimate Chromatographer

A mother’s advice may be all you need for improving your HPLC and GC chromatography

Think your mom knows nothing about chromatography? Think again.

We all know that moms play a valuable role in our lives. They feed us when we’re hungry, pick us up when we fall down, take care of us when we’re sick, and always seem to have a never ending stream of advice for any situation - school, work, dating and yes, chromatography.

Don’t believe us? Read on.

Mom’s Golden Nuggets of Analytical Wisdom

Always Be Clean
Whether it was to clean your room, your body, or your underwear, mom made it clear that being clean was important. The same goes with chromatography. Not properly cleaning your samples using solid phase extraction (SPE), for example, can introduce nasty contaminants into your system that can damage HPLC and gas chromatography (GC) columns and interfere with detector sensitivity. Mom definitely wouldn’t approve. Listen to her and clean your samples!

Eat Right
Mom always said that eating right is good for your brain and your body. Having the right nutrients keeps neurons firing, hearts pumping, and lungs breathing. This also rings true for chromatography. The correct HPLC column and mobile phase combination can be pivotal for maximizing separation power. She was right. Your choices DO matter!

Bundle Up
“Wear a jacket, you’ll get sick!” Mom always made sure you were properly protected from the elements. Your HPLC and gas chromatography (GC) columns need protection, too. A guard column keeps them safe from particulates and sample contaminants. Don’t let your beloved columns meet an early demise. Make them wear their guard column! Do we remind you of someone?

Sit Up Straight
Mom knew a little something about the importance of looking sharp. This carries over to your chromatographic peaks, too. Improving peak asymmetry requires minimizing secondary interactions, adjusting loading capacity, modifying your injection solvent, and/or playing with pH. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just tell our peaks to sit up straight like mom used to?

You’ll Never Know Until You Try
This was a mom’s way of encouraging us to be adventurous! Curious about high speed run times in HPLC or high temperature GC analysis? Maybe it’s time to play with some new column technology:
Core-shell HPLC/UHPLC columns offer increased resolution, shorter run times, and easy method transfer from one system to another.

High Temperature GC columns give better resolution for fuels, long chain hydrocarbons, and high boiling petroleum products.

Don’t Make That Face or It Will Stay That Way!
Thank goodness mom was wrong on this one. But in all seriousness, if you apply all of mom’s lessons to your analytical work, you just might just find yourself stuck with a perma-smile on your face, and that’s not such a bad thing.

Thanks, mom!

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Mchael Garriques
michaelg@phenomenex.com
310 212-0555
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