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My first contact with HPLC was at Mount Sinai Hospital, where our lab's budget miraculously allowed for a Waters gradient HPLC system.
My first contact with HPLC was at Mount Sinai Hospital, where our lab's budget miraculously allowed for a Waters gradient HPLC system. I attended a lecture by a Waters salesperson on linear versus nonlinear gradients, a hot topic in 1986. HPLC was new to our lab, and the chemists from surrounding labs stared with wonder as the system was assembled over a couple of days. I remember thinking how odd it was that a column would be encased in stainless steel instead of glass, as were the gravity-flow columns I was accustomed to packing.
In 1986, I landed a job with a nascent column supplier and was amazed to discover a journal devoted to HPLC and GC - LCGC North America. LCGC was an invaluable resource at a time when FAX machines were yet to be invented and even Al Gore had not considered the possibility of an Internet.
In those days, 300 × 3.9 mm columns packed with 10 micron irregular silicas dominated the market. A big question was whether customers would adopt smaller spherical particles. Three-micron phases remained toys for the truly courageous early adapters. I recall two friends, Csaba Horvath and Krishna Kalghatgi, who described the use of monodisperse particles of 2-μm diameter and smaller! I was tempted to pass this off as an academic dream, but here we are, almost two decades later, and the latest focus of ultra-HPLC fulfills their predictions.
In 1991, I started MetaChem Technologies, Inc., and my relationship with LCGC changed altogether. LCGC became our vehicle for letting the world know about our products, which we promoted with GL Sciences, Inc., a Japanese producer of HPLC columns. We were pleased to help usher in the high-purity silica revolution, largely a result of GL Sciences' research and production methods. GL Sciences' HPLC columns became the benchmark. LCGC was not only the top publication covering our industry but darn-near the only serious vehicle to showcase new HPLC and GC products to the world. We never had a moment of regret in our choice.
Now, having sold MetaChem, I'm proud to be President of GL Sciences, Inc., USA, founded in 2005 to promote GL Sciences' incredibly powerful HPLC columns. The changes have been exhilarating for me, but one thing has remained constant - the importance of LCGC as a vehicle for the chromatography community to take stock of itself and its future.
Congratulations and Happy Birthday, LCGC.
GL Sciences, Inc., USA