Highlights of HPLC 2011

Sep 01, 2011

HPLC 2011 was held on 19–23 June in Budapest, Hungary for the first time in its long history. Columnist Ron Majors attended the event and reviews some of the advances in technology and new applications presented. In this installment of "Column Watch" he reveals the overall trends in liquid phase chromatography observed at the symposium, as well as the awards presented, the opening plenary session, column technology highlights, an update on comprehensive liquid chromatography (LC×LC), and detector usage.

The 36th International Symposium on High Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques, which alternates between Europe and North America, with occasional side meetings in Japan and China, was held in beautiful Budapest, Hungary from 19–23 June 2011. More affectionately known as HPLC 2011, the symposium is a major scientific event for bringing together the myriad of techniques related to separations in liquid and supercritical fluid media.

Chaired by Professor Attila Felinger of the University of Pécs, Hungary with an Honorary Chairman László Szepesy of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary, HPLC 2011 assembled 1332 participants from all over the world. This number included vendor representatives from over 60 exhibitors for the three-day instrument, software and consumables exhibition. Students represented a good proportion of the conferees, which is a good omen for the future of separation science. Based on the number of attendees and exhibitors, the worldwide economic crisis did not play heavily into the support for this important conference. The attendance was up about 10% from HPLC 2010 (1).

HPLC 2011 had 135 orals in plenary and parallel sessions and 789 posters in sessions with 21 themes. With an ample social event schedule, 1 3 vendor workshops (some with free snacks), nine tutorial educational sessions, and six short courses (held during the previous weekend), attendees had their hands full deciding how to best allocate their time. The tutorials were particularly well attended and covered current topics such as liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS), multidimensional chromatography (MDC), hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC), solid-phase microextraction (SPME), microfluidics, chemometrics, supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) and overpressured-layer chromatography (OPLC).