LCGC Europe December 2017

December 2017 | Volume 30, Issue 12
Cover Story
The analytical toolbox used in present-day metabolomics encounters difficulties for the analysis of limited amounts of biological samples. Therefore, a significant number of crucial biomedical and clinical questions cannot be addressed by the current metabolomics approach. Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (CE–MS) has shown considerable potential for the profiling of polar and charged metabolites in volume-restricted or mass-limited biological samples. This article considers advances that significantly improved the performance of CE–MS for in-depth metabolic profiling of limited sample amounts. Attention is also devoted to various technical aspects that still need to be addressed to make CE–MS a viable approach for volume-restricted metabolomics.
Sample Preparation Perspectives
Traditional extraction methods for food samples, such as liquid–liquid extraction and Soxhlet extraction, are often time-consuming and require large amounts of organic solvents. Therefore, one of the objectives of analytical food safety studies currently has been the development of new extraction techniques that can improve the accuracy and precision of analytical results and simplify the analytical procedure.
Column Watch
Gaussian peak shapes in chromatography are indicative of a well-behaved system. Such peak shapes are highly desirable from the perspective of column packing technology. From an analyst’s point of view, Gaussian peaks provide improved sensitivity (lower detection limits) and allow ease of quantitation. In practice, one can obtain peaks that tail, front, or concurrently front and tail for reasons such as column packing issues, chemical and kinetic effects, and suboptimal high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system plumbing and detector settings. Here, we discuss a number of approaches for peak shape measurement that are available in modern chromatography software, along with their advantages and drawbacks. A new “total peak shape analysis” approach is suggested that facilitates detection and quantification of concurrent fronting and tailing in peaks. Several remediation approaches are proposed that can help chromatographers analyze and improve peak shapes.
Questions of Quality
The authors discuss metrics for monitoring data integrity within a chromatography laboratory, from the regulatory requirements to practical implementation.
By LCGC Editors
The 42nd International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography (ISCC) and 15th GC×GC Symposium will be held at the Palazzo dei Congressi, Riva del Garda, Italy, from 13–18 May 2018.
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