The three largest industrial applications for thin layer chromatography are in clinical, pharmaceutical and food testing accounting for more than half of the market demand, combined. One of the most common specific types of clinical tests performed with TLC is for the presence of drugs of abuse. In the pharmaceutical industry, TLC is widely used in production and quality assurance applications. The presence or absence of substances can be determined qualitatively, while quantitative tests can determine the purity of a drug sample. Within the food industry, TLC is used for many different applications, ranging from lipid separation to food dye analysis.
Although TLC can be fully automated, it is commonly a manual technique. Consequently, aftermarket supplies and consumables dominate the market, which are composed of sorbents, reagents, standardized TLC plates and capillary tubes for sample application, among a host of other small, inexpensive yet crucial products. TLC faces competition from HPLC and, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, flash chromatography.The foregoing data was extracted and adapted from SDi's Global Assessment Report, 11th Edition. For more information, contact Glenn Cudiamat, VP of Research Services, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, e-mail: [email protected]