New HPLC Systems and Related Products Introduced in 2017–2018: A Brief Review

Apr 01, 2018
Volume 36, Issue 4, pg 256–265

This installment describes high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and related products introduced at Pittcon 2018 in Orlando, Florida, and in the year prior. It highlights new HPLC and mass spectrometry (MS) systems, modules, chromatography data systems, and other HPLC-related software and provides brief descriptions of their significant benefits and innovative features.

The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) is one of the world's largest conferences on laboratory science. The 70th Pittcon was held at the Orange County Conference Center in Orlando, Florida, February 26 to March 1, 2018. The last Pittcons held in Orlando were in the years 2012, 2010, 2006, and 2003. Future Pittcon venues will include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; as well as the new locations of Boston, Massachusetts and San Diego, California. Sadly, Orlando is not on the list for future events.

Orlando remains my favorite Pittcon location because of the warmer weather, friendly people, great food, and wonderful theme parks. Orlando spans a high tech corridor that encompasses numerous centers of agrochemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and renowned universities.

This year's Pittcon continued to be impressive, with ~2000 presentations, 100+ short courses, and a large exposition, although the duration of the exposition portion was reduced from four to three days (Tuesday to Thursday). The conference featured plenary lectures by Professor Jeremy K. Nicholson (director of the United Kingdom National Phenome Centre) on precision medicines and Dr. Stefan W. Hell (Max Planck Institute, 2014 Nobel Laureate) on optical microscopy. Pittcon 2018's program was packed full of invited symposia, poster presentations, contributed and networking sessions, and social activities, including a night out to Universal's theme park.

Trends in HPLC Equipment

With ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) firmly established as the modern high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) platform for more than a decade, all major manufacturers have already introduced the first- and second-generation UHPLC systems (1–3). In the past few years, manufacturers continued to introduce line extensions to existing equipment, such as dual-path, intermediary-pressure, and bioinert systems (4,5). This year's new introductions also appeared to be trending toward application-specific systems (for example, cannabis analysis), front ends to mass spectrometry (MS) systems, micro- and nano-HPLC systems, biopurification systems, portable instruments, preparative LC systems, and integrated HPLC systems for quality control (QC) applications. New MS systems abounded, ranging from single-quadrupole and triple-quadrupole, to quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) hybrid MS systems. Updates to existing chromatography data systems (CDS) proliferated, as well as software products catering to HPLC method development, peak deconvolution, pharmaceutical development, and stability testing.

Table I lists more than 40 new HPLC-related product introductions (arranged alphabetically by vendor name) at Pittcon 2018 or during the prior year, followed by brief descriptions of each product, categorized under systems, modules, CDS, and software products.

New HPLC and UHPLC Systems and Line Extensions

This year's new system introductions trended toward UHPLC line extensions, dual-path HPLC systems, integrated HPLC systems for QC applications, micro-, nano-, and prep-LC systems, as well as systems serving as front ends to MS or specific applications.

Advion Avant HPLC and UHPLC systems—Advion's HPLC and UHPLC systems serve as front ends to Advion's Expression Compact MS (CMS) system and other MS systems. The system consists of a binary gradient pump (10,000 or 18.000 psi) with a 0.1–5.0 mL/min flow range, two available optional photodiode-array (PDA) detectors, an autosampler for microplates or vial trays, and other accessories (column oven, solvent tray, degasser, and post-column derivatization system). The Avant system is controlled by Advion's Mass Express 4.1 software.

Agilent 1260 Infinity II Prime LC systems—Agilent's 1260 Infinity II LC family now include binary pumps (600 bar) and 800-bar Flexible pumps in the 1260 Infinity II Prime LC systems. Agilent Intelligent System Emulation Technology (ISET) removes method transfer challenges through a single mouse click. With the Agilent InfinityLab LC companion, now all systems are offered with a web browser–based user interface, which allows access from anywhere.

Agilent InfinityLab Workflow Solutions—Agilent InfinityLab Workflow Solution is an expanded family of HPLC systems configured for specific laboratory workflows, including those for two dimensional (2D)-LC, method development and transfer, impurity analysis, high-throughput screening (HTS), solid-phase extraction, biomolecule and amino acid analysis, supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), and multimethod analysis in a multiuser walk-up environment.

Cecil Instruments: Adept HPLC—Cecil Instruments introduced the Adept HPLC system for the analysis of cannabis-associated analytes, including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabinol, residual pesticides, mycotoxins, terpenes, and many other contaminants.

PolyLC Smart HPLC—The Smart HPLC system is a low-cost, portable HPLC system (22 lb packed inside a Pelican plastic instrument case) with a fixed ultraviolet (UV) detector with a light-emitting diode (LED) light source (255 or 280 nm), a Valco manual injector, and a binary gradient pump (3000 psi, 0.001–5 mL/min) with onboard reagent and waste bottles. The system can run on a 100–240 VAC line source, vehicle power, or a rechargeable battery power pack (12 VDC) for 9 h. The system comes with the Clarity CDS installed and can be controlled by a tablet or laptop PC. PolyLC is marketing the system as an analyzer for hemoglobin (Smart LifeLC, 414 nm). The Smart LC system is also distributed in North America by Supercritical Fluid Technologies and Vernier Software & Technologies.

Sciex Jasper HPLC system—The Sciex Jasper HPLC system is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Class I and CE-marked in vitro diagnostic system and serves as the front end to Sciex's MS systems and are designed for targeting applications in clinical diagnostics. They are designed to operate at a maximum pressure of 10,000 psi.

Shimadzu i-Series Plus HPLC and UHPLC systems—Shimadzu i-Series Plus HPLC and UHPLC systems belong to a family of integrated HPLC systems consisting of Prominence-i, Nexera-i, Nexera-i MT (method transfer), and Prominence-i LT (LC–MS front end) systems. The system has a touchscreen liquid-crystal display for easy system control and chromatogram viewing, a built-in degasser, a quaternary pump, an ultrafast autosampler, and a UV or PDA detector. Pressure limits range from 22 to 66 MPa (220–660 bar). The Nexera-i MT system has a dual flow path and can use Analytical Condition Transfer and Optimization (ACTO) software to facilitate method conversions between HPLC and UHPLC systems by adjusting gradient timings. Other enhancements include a higher column oven temperature limit of 90 °C, pretreatment functions in autosamplers, improved baseline stability for UV detectors, and higher precision for autosamplers for small sampling volumes of 0.5–1 µL.

Thermo Scientific Vanquish UHPLC systems—Thermo Scientific updated its family of Vanquish UHPLC systems, now consisting of Vanquish Horizon (1500 bar, binary pumps), Vanquish Flex Binary (1000 bar), Vanquish Flex Quaternary (1000 bar, low-pressure mixing), and Vanquish Duo (dual pumps, two flow paths, up to 1500 bar, and dual split sampler) systems for enhanced productivity.

Teledyne SSI Viper LC—Scientific System, Inc. (SSI), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for HPLC pumps, was acquired by Teledyne Technologies in 2017. Teledyne SSI Viper LC is an integrated HPLC system configured as a front end to MS. The system is based on a binary pump (10,000 or 20,000 psi), column oven, and autosampler. It can be controlled by the Clarity CDS or Sciex Analyst drivers.

Waters Arc Bio system—The Waters Arc Bio system is a dual-path, biocompatible, intermediary-pressure (9500 psi, 5.0 mL/min) UHPLC system designed to facilitate method conversion between UHPLC and HPLC. The system has an iron-free sample flow path and is particularly suited for the analysis of biomolecules, and is controlled by the Waters Empower 3 CDS or Masslynx software.

YL Instruments: YL9100 Plus and YL9300 HPLC systems—YL Instruments Co., is a Korean manufacturer of gas chromatography (GC) and HPLC instruments. The YL9100 Plus (modular) and YL9300 (integrated) HPLC systems are designed for analytical and semipreparative applications. They can be configured with various pumps (isocratic, binary, and quaternary; 6000 psi and up to 10 mL/min for analytical systems and 3500 psi and up to 50 mL/min for semipreparative systems), autosamplers, column ovens, and detector (UV–vis, PDA, refractive index, and evaporative light scattering) options. The systems are controlled by the YL-Clarity CDS. The company also manufactures post-column derivatization systems based on syringe pumps.

Micro- and Nano-LC Systems

Micro- and nano-LC with MS detection are ideally suited to bioscience research (biomarkers, "omics" research, clinical testing) and applications in limited sample situations. Here is a description of the new offerings in this area this year.

Axcend Focus LC—The Axcend Focus LC is an innovative portable nanoflow LC system developed in the research laboratories of Milton Lee during an 8-year fruitful collaboration with Stan Stearns and engineers at VICI Valco Instruments (6). Dr. Lee is Emeritus Professor at Brigham Young University and a serial entrepreneur of micro-LC, SFC, GC, and MS products. The Focus LC system is a hand-portable nanoflow LC system (<15 lb including a 24-V battery) with a binary gradient pumping system (20,000 psi pressure limit), valve injector, and single or dual miniaturized on-column LED UV-absorbance detectors for target analyte detection in a cartridge-type capillary column–detector unit. It can also be easily interfaced to an MS system for unknown compound identification.

The system exhibits better sensitivity than commercially available UV-absorbance detectors because of the stability of its LED light source, integrated optics, and noise reduction processing (7). It has built-in instrument control, data handling and user interface with smartphones, tablets, and PCs, and uses regular line voltage or internal battery power. The Axcend Focus LC system is the Bronze medal winner of Pittcon Today's Excellence Award for Pittcon 2018. Figure 1 shows a chromatogram illustrating the performance of this nano LC system.

Figure 1: A chromatogram of a test mixture of phenols obtained using the Axcend Focus LC system. Column: 170 mm × 150 µm, 3.5-µm C18; mobile phase: methanol-water (0.1% formic acid), 5-95% gradient (10 min) at a flow rate of 1 µL/min; injection volume: 200 nL.

Bruker nanoElute UHPLC system—Bruker introduced the nanoElute UHPLC system for its Q-TOF and other MS systems in "omics," biomarker, and biopharmaceutical applications. The system is equipped with a single-piston pump of 1300-µL volume, which supports flow rates of 50–2000 nL/min at pressures as high as 1000 bar.

Shimadzu Nexera Mikros Microflow LC–MS/MS system—Shimadzu's Nexera Mikros Microflow LC–MS/MS system is designed for micro and semimicro HPLC–MS/MS with flow rates of 0.1–500 µL/min (11,600 psi) and direct injections with the SIL-30AC autosampler of volumes as low as 0.1 µL. The new UF-Link adapter is designed to provide reliable, zero-dead volume microcolumn connections. System configurations include those for direct injections, "trap and elute," and makeup flow. These systems are ideally suited for bioanalysis, "omics" research, and biopharmaceutical applications.

VICI (Valco Instruments) Nano HPLC system—The VICI nano-UHPLC system is designed to be used as the front end to MS systems with a 1500-bar pump with a 35-µL piston capacity and a VICI injector. This pump is used in the Axcend Focus LC system.

Preparative HPLC Systems

Several new preparative and semipreparative HPLC systems were introduced this year that target preparative and biopurification and workflows currently using flash chromatography or fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) with glass columns.

Agilent InfinityLab Analytical Scale LC Purification Solutions—Agilent InfinityLab Analytical Scale LC Purification Solutions is a family of Agilent 1220-, 1260-, and 1290-based systems targeting purification tasks at microgram to milligram levels. They support preparative applications with automated delay volume calibration and fraction collection into vials, tubes, well-plates, and Eppendorf tubes.

Agilent InfinityLab Preparative Scale LC Purification Solutions—This family of preparative-scale purification systems is similar to the analytical-scale LC systems described above but at a larger scale, with flow rates up to 200 mL/min. These systems support automated scale-up from analytical scouting runs to microgram- or gram-scale purification. They are suited for a multiuser walk-up environment with automated open-bed or valve-based fraction collections.

Gilson PLC system—The Gilson PLC system is a unique purification system (100, 250–1000 mL) capable of performing preparative LC, flash chromatography, and centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC, also called countercurrent chromatography, which is known to be advantageous for the purification of labile natural products).

Knauer Azura Bio LC systems—The Knauer Azura Bio purification systems provide an alternative FPLC platform and are based on Knauer's bioinert analytical or preparative HPLC systems with a flow range of 10–1000 mL/min in a biocompatible layout. These systems are controlled by the PurityChrom CDS. Pressure ratings for Azura systems in stainless steel format are 200, 400, 700, and 1000 bar.

Teledyne Isco ACCQPrep HP 125—The Teledyne Isco ACCQPrep HP 125 system is an integrated stand-alone preparative LC system designed for flash chromatography users. The system has a built-in control panel for automated purification, detection (UV–vis, evaporative light scatter detection [ELSD], or MS with PeakTrak software), and fraction collection. It has a binary HPLC pump with a flow range of 1–125 mL/min and a maximum pressure of 6000 psi.

HPLC Modules and Accessories

The following descriptions are on newly introduced modules and accessories for HPLC, thin-layer chromatography (TLC), ion chromatography (IC), and MS.

HTA HT1500L autosampler—HTA is an Italian company that offers robotic solutions for analytical laboratories. The HT1500L autosampler is designed to be a simple, easy to operate, and low-cost autosampler that supports fixed-loop injections to any HPLC system for up to 45 samples.

JASCO fluorescence detectors—JASCO offers the FP-4020 fluorescence detector, which uses a continuous xenon source and has a sensitivity specification of a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 2300 for the Raman band of water (compared to the company's model FP-4025 system with an S/N value of 1400).

Advion Plate Express—The Advion Plate Express system provides TLC analysis with MS detection by Advion's Expression Compact MS (CMS) system. It is capable of a 1-min scanning of TLC spots with the automated transfer of separated analytes with a sprayed solvent into the MS system for analyte identification.

Optimize Technologies OPTI-LYNX 2 Hand Tight system—Optimize Technologies introduced the OPTI-LYNX 2 Hand Tight system, a direct-connect filter–guard column for HPLC and UHPLC columns. A typical OPTI-LYNX 2 precolumn is 5-mm long with an internal diameter of 2.1–4.6 mm and is packed with silica-based or polymeric phases. Direct connection is by hand-tightening to 6000–12,000 psi depending on configuration.

Peak Industrial Infinity XE 5011 membrane nitrogen generators—The Peak Industrial Infinity XE 5011 family of membrane-based nitrogen generators are capable of producing flow rates of 10–130 L/min with gas purity of 95–99.5% for LC–MS, sample evaporation, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and ELSD applications.

Thermo Scientific Dionex DRS 600 Dynamically Regenerated Suppressor—This new suppressor uses a planar packed bed suppression zone for high peak efficiency and suppression capacity. It can be fitted to Thermo's IC system with conductivity detectors and improves gradient performance by drawing optimum currents to suppress the conductivity of the eluents including those with high ionic strengths.

MS and LC–MS Systems

MS remains an area of active innovations fueled by increasing market demands for systems with higher performance (mass range, resolution, and scan speed) and smaller footprints. The following new single-quadrupole, triple-quadrupole, and Q-TOF MS systems were introduced this year.

Agilent LC/MSD and LC/MSD XT—Agilent's LC/MSD and LC/MSD XT systems are new stackable single-quadrupole mass selective detectors that support multiple ionization sources (electrospray ionization [ESI], multimode ionization [MMI], atmospheric pressure chemical ionization [APCI], and Agilent Jet Stream [AJS]). These systems have a mass range of 10–2000 m/z (2–3000 m/z for XT), a resolution of 0.7 Da, and a maximum scan rate of 10,400 Da/s.

Agilent Ultivo Triple Quad LC–MS system—Agilent's Ultivo Triple Quad LC–MS system is a new triple-quadrupole system that is stackable with Agilent LC systems and incorporates hardware innovations such as the Vortex collision cell, Cyclone ion guide, and VacShield vacuum system to maximize MS performance with the smallest possible footprint (70% less than its predecessor). Coupled with MassHunter Quant-My-Way software, the system is designed to maximize efficiency for routine analysis. It can be configured with ESI, AJS, APCI, atmosphere pressure photoionization (APPI), or MMI sources. It has a mass range of 5–1400 m/z, a mass resolution of 0.7 Da, and a maximum scan rate of 15,000 Da/s.

Agilent 6545XT AdvanceBio LC/Q-TOF system—This Q-TOF system is designed for multiple workflows for biopharmaceutical characterization. When coupled with MassHunter BioConfirm software, this system is designed to generate comprehensive data for intact protein analysis and confirm protein sequences at the peptide level, including post-translational modifications. It has a mass range of 50–30,00 m/z, a mass accuracy of 2 ppm, a mass resolving power of >50,000 FWHM, and a maximum scan rate of 50 spectra/s.

Thermo Scientific ISQ-EC MS system—The ISQ-EC single-quadrupole MS system is optimized for detection of low-mass ions required for ion chromatography and some HPLC applications. It supports ESI and has a mass range of 10–1250 m/z, a maximum scan rate of 20,000 Da/s, and a mass accuracy of 0.1 Da. It is controlled by the Chromeleon 7.2 CDS.

Thermo Scientific TSQ Altis and TSQ Quantis TQ-MS system—Thermo Scientific introduced two new triple-quadrupole MS systems: TSQ Altis (mass selection of 0.2 FWHM, mass range of 10–2000), and TSQ Quantis (mass selection of 0.4 FWHM, mass range of 10–3000).

Thermo Scientific Q Exactive HF-X Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap MS system—Thermo Scientific introduced a quadrupole orbital trap hybrid MS system with a mass range of 50–6000 m/z, a mass accuracy of 1–3 ppm, a mass resolution of 240,000, and a maximum scan rate of 40 Hz.

Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Fusion Lumos Tribrid MS enhancements—Thermo reported new enhancements for its flagship Fusion Lumos Tribrid MS system that include an integrated ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) source (fragmentation achieved by a 213-nm UV laser), Advance Peak Determination for proteomic workflows, and 1,000,000 FWHM in mass resolution. The system is controlled by Thermo Scientific's Xcalibur 4.1 software.

Ion Chromatography and Microfluidic Systems

The following descriptions are on newly introduced IC and microfluidic systems.

Microfluidic ChipShop ChipGenie edition Dx—Microfluidic ChipShop GmbH from Germany introduced the ChipGenie edition Dx, an integrated lab-on-a-chip system designed to provide a universal diagnostic platform for molecular, immunology, clinical chemistry, and cell-based assays. The system uses one-time use chips in cartridge formats coupled with customizable reagents and detection (fluorescence, UV–vis, electrochemical, or sensor) for specified applications. It is interesting to note that one of the first microfluidic instruments, Agilent's 2100 Bioanalyzer, was introduced in 1999 (7000+ units sold), although we saw relatively few new instruments in this category.

Thermo Scientific ICS-6000 DP Dual Pumps ion chromatograph—Thermo introduced a new high-end ion chromatography system with dual pumps for enhanced flexibility and productivity. It supports capillary, microbore, and standard-bore IC applications (isocratic or gradient) with suppressed conductivity, UV–vis, PDA, or electrochemical detection. It has a PEEK-based flow path with a maximum pressure of 5000 psi (6000 psi capillary) and uses the Chromeleon v.7.2 CDS for system control and data handling.

Chromatography Data Systems

The following descriptions are on new major updates in chromatography data systems.

Agilent OpenLab CDS 2.2—This version of the OpenLab CDS provides a networked or stand-alone environment for instrument control and data handling of Agilent's HPLC, GC, capillary electrophoresis (CE), and single-quadrupole MS systems. Designed with the routine workflows of QC laboratories in mind, this updated CDS features high data integrity, extensive control capabilities for multivendor instruments, and an easy-to-use interface. It works under Windows operating systems (7, 8.1, and 10) and supports web browsers (Internet Explorer 11, Chrome 40, and Microsoft Edge) with multilanguage interfaces including Chinese, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Agilent OpenLab CDS ChemStation Edition—According to Agilent, this CDS software franchise has been updated to meet the needs of the modern laboratory and is ideally suited to diverse environments where flexibility for instrument control is a priority such as for fraction collection, method development, and 2D-LC. The complementary Sample Scheduler add-on automatically ports laboratory information management system (LIMS)-generated worklists to instrumentation and provides a simple user interface.

Data Apex Clarity CDS Ver. 7.4—This modular CDS (stand-alone or network) is commonly used in many third-party systems and is designed to control hundreds of HPLC and GC instruments and support six languages with optional extensions for PDA, MS, gel-permeation chromatography, natural gas analysis, CE, and elemental analysis. The vendor offers free software updates.

Thermo Scientific Chromeleon 7.2 SR5 CDS—This updated version of Chromeleon is a multitechnique, multivendor scalable CDS platform (standalone or client-server) for GC, LC, IC, and MS systems with many modern enhancements including unique workflow automation with eWorkflows, and automated mass analysis for LC–MS and GC–MS.

Other HPLC-Related Software

The following descriptions are on newly introduced HPLC-related software products for method development, impurities management during drug development, stability testing, and peak deconvolution.

ACD/Labs AutoChrom 2017 version—This updated software platform for HPLC method development has enhanced capabilities for handling biomolecules (peptides and amino acids with standard nomenclatures), improved data import–export functionalities to MS data systems, expanded ability to conduct column screening and selection, and new reporting functions for HPLC method development projects using concepts of quality by design (QbD).

ACD/Labs Luminata—The Luminata informatics software platform is designed for efficient and comprehensive management of impurity data in pharmaceutical process development that includes organized and searchable databases of analytical and chemical information. This software is intended to provide an effective impurity control strategy in new drug development and includes new visualization tools.

ChemPower OCAS software for peak deconvolution—LC–MS data can be viewed to provide two dimensions of orthogonal separations with mass-to-charge ratio as the second dimension. ChemPower Technology is a start-up chemometric software company based in Singapore that developed an online chemical analysis system (OCAS) capable of deconvoluting closely eluted peaks from various GC–MS and LC–MS data to discover the molecular identity of unknown compounds. The software can rapidly and accurately process the entire sample data set and provide a list of all the chemicals that are contained in the sample. This type of trending software may provide additional quantitative data for difficult assays (such as biomarkers and stability-indicating assays of complex pharmaceuticals) without invoking the power and tedium of 2D-LC.

FreeThink Technologies v.5.0 ASAPprime software—Stability testing tends to consume major fractions of analytical resources in many pharmaceutical laboratories. FreeThink Technologies is a software and contract research laboratory company based in Branford, Connecticut, that specializes in stability determinations and solving stability problems. ASAPprime is its flagship software platform (validated for Windows 7/8/10 environments), which is designed to allow accurate determination of the shelf life of drug substances and drug products in about four weeks. The program uses experimental data to estimate the time to hit a specification limit (based on the formation of degradants, loss of assay, or change in dissolution performance) at a range of open temperature and relative humidity conditions, then applies a modified Arrhenius equation with statistical propagation to develop a mathematical stability model for that product.

The modeling is further enhanced by the program's database of packaging options, which enables users to determine the moisture level a product is exposed to within packaging and combines this level with the moisture sensitivity from the stability modeling. The program can calculate the probability that a product will remain within its specification limits based on different time frames, initial water content, climate zones, and packaging options.

Molnár-Institute DryLab v.4.3 for HPLC method development—DryLab v.4.3 is the latest version of this popular modeling software platform for HPLC method development. The updates include enhancements for column screening, column comparison displays, and predictions for flow variations. DryLab has a useful cubical display of three-dimensional (3D) resolution maps versus column temperature (T), gradient time (t G), and mobile-phase pH. It has provisions for multisegment predictions, and automated peak tracking with MS data from specific vendors.

Shimadzu LabSolutions Insight—This software is designed to be an add-on to the LabSolutions CDS for faster quantitative analysis with Shimadzu's GC–MS and LC–MS/MS systems. It includes more intuitive operation and improved peak integration algorithms and functionalities for supporting data analysis. LabSolutions Insight library screening software supports screening via full scan or multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode and can display library search results for multiple analytes. This platform targets applications for food safety and forensic toxicology and provides data reviews by exceptions. This type of review is most useful in HTS applications because it highlights results that appear to be out of specifications or above the regulatory limits.

S-Matrix Fusion QbD v. 9.8.0—The latest updated version of this popular HPLC method development software platform, which uses principles of QbD and design of experiments (DoE), now includes new simulation chromatogram visualization and reporting capabilities that allow users to display simulated chromatograms in real time.

Concluding and Personal Remarks

Most analytical chemists come to Pittcon for learning the latest in instrumentation, attending seminars and short courses for professional development, and networking with friends and colleagues. My schedule this year included teaching a two-day short course on HPLC and UHPLC, attending several seminars (symposia, workshops, and networking sessions) and an editorial advisory board meeting for LCGC, and hosting a dinner event sponsored by the Chinese American Chromatography Association (CACA) featuring a lecture on molecular medicine by Professor Weihong Tan of the University of Florida.

I spent two days on the exposition floor verifying information on the 40+ new HPLC products covered in this installment. I stayed three extra days in Orlando to visit theme parks with my family, thereby narrowly missing the travel frustrations caused by winter storm Riley. I returned home to be confronted by two successive nor'easter storms, Quinn and Skylar, which caused extensive power outages in New England. Indeed, the weather in early March can be unpredictable in North America. Nevertheless, Pittcon continues to inspire me year after year with renewed enthusiasm for my career choice as an analytical chemist, and I continue to look forward to future venues in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Chicago. However, I do wish that Pittcon will return to sunny Florida again one day.


This installment provides a brief overview of new HPLC-related product introductions (HPLC systems and modules, MS systems, chromatography data systems, and software and related products) at Pittcon 2018 and during the prior year. Readers are referred to manufacturers' websites and their marketing departments for additional details. Note that new HPLC columns are covered separately in LCGC's "Column Watch" annual review by Dave Bell (8). The information and opinions expressed in this installment are the author's own and bear no reflections on those of LCGC, the Pittsburgh Conference, or any other organizations.


I wish to give thanks to the marketing and editorial staffs of LCGC and all HPLC manufacturers for their timely responses to my numerous requests for information. I am particularly grateful for the invaluable editorial and technical input from Davy Guillarme and Szabolcs Fekete of the University Geneva, Wilhad Reuter of PerkinElmer, Christin Gu of Novartis, and Giacomo Chiti of Texsus SpA.


(1) C.H. Arnaud, Chem. & Eng. News 94(24), 29–35 (2016).

(2) J. De Vos, K. Broeckhoven, and S. Eeltink, Anal. Chem. 88, 262–278 (2016).

(3) D. Guillarme and M.W. Dong (Eds.), "UHPLC: Where We Are Ten Years After Its Commercial Introduction," Trends in Anal. Chem. 63, 1–188 (2014).

(4) M.W. Dong, LCGC North Am. 34(4), 262–273 (2016).

(5) M.W. Dong, LCGC North Am. 35(4), 246–257 (2017).

(6) X. Zhao et al., Anal. Chem. 89, 807–812 (2017).

(7) X. Xie, L.T. Tolley, T.X. Truong, H.D. Tolley, P.B. Farnsworth, and M.L. Lee, J. Chromatogr. A 1523, 242–247 (2017).

(8) D.S. Bell, LCGC North Am. 36(4), 234–247 (2018).


Michael W. Dong Michael W. Dong is a principal of MWD Consulting, which provides training and consulting services in HPLC and UHPLC, method improvements, pharmaceutical analysis, and drug quality. He was formerly a Senior Scientist at Genentech, Research Fellow at Purdue Pharma, and Senior Staff Scientist at Applied Biosystems/PerkinElmer. He holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from City University of New York. He has more than 100 publications and a best-selling book in chromatography. He is an editorial advisory board member of LCGC North America and the Chinese American Chromatography Association. Direct correspondence to: [email protected]

lorem ipsum