Chromatography

Chromatography is a separation technology with many different areas of application. In the food and pharmaceutical industries, analytical HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) is used for the quality assurance and analysis of products on the market and in development. Preparative HPLC is based on the same principle, but the area of application is different; it is used as a purification stage in the manufacture of certain drugs such as insulin.

An analytical HPLC system presses the sample being analyzed through a column with a pump, whereupon it is separated and is registered in a detector. An HPLC system, a solvent, a column and an operator are therefore needed to facilitate analysis.

In order to separate substances from each other, chromatography utilizes the condition that different substances remain in the column for different lengths of time, depending on how much attraction exists between the surface of the compacted silica particles in the column and the substances which are pressed through this. The resolving power in a column depends on various factors; the evenness and quality of the surface finish are important, as are surface area and uniformity of particle size.

NLAB Saga™

A development project was launched in order to develop a silica particle for chromatographic use. Based on its knowledge of silica, Nanologica has developed a material, NLAB Saga™, which is different from the materials currently available on the market.

With NLAB Saga™, surface area, particle size distribution, surface finish and mechanical stability are optimized. This means that the ability to separate substances from each other increases and column performance is therefore enhanced.

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Different substances remain in a chromatography column for different lengths of time, depending on how much attraction exists between the surface of the compacted silica particles and the substances which are pressed through. The image shows how a drug mixture (orange) in contact with NLAB Saga™ is divided up into the components “red”, “turquoise” and “green”. The column’s performance/resolving power appears to be good and the border between the respective colors is sharp.