The LCGC Blog: A Decision Tree for Gas Chromatography Method Development

To answer the question "Is there a good flow diagram I can use for GC method development?" please see below for our first attempt at something suitable, in the form of stepwise decision trees and flow diagrams.

I was posed an interesting question by one of our CHROMacademy (www.CHROMacademy.com) GC Method Development course students recently. 

"Is there a good flow diagram I can use for GC Method Development?"

While the course contains some rudimentary flow charts, I had to admit that I hadn’t ever seen anything that would fit the bill of a comprehensive decision tree. Some further internet searches confirmed that this was the case.

Therefore, please see below for our first attempt at something more suitable, in the form of stepwise decision trees and flow diagrams. I’d love to hear from anyone who can contribute additions, amendments, or corrections as I think this will be very useful for the less experienced GC method developer.

 

In producing these schemes, it has become increasingly obvious that to produce a comprehensive guide in this form would be highly complex. What we offer at this stage is some initial guidance to heighten awareness of general strategy and major considerations for the method development pathway.

Please let me know if you would like to provide further contributions, or if you know of specific flow diagrams for, for example, headspace method development and parameter optimisation, and I will provide a link to them from the relevant sections.

Tony Taylor is the technical director of Crawford Scientific and ChromAcademy. He comes from a pharmaceutical background and has many years research and development experience in small molecule analysis and bioanalysis using LC, GC, and hyphenated MS techniques. Taylor is actively involved in method development within the analytical services laboratory at Crawford Scientific and continues to research in LC-MS and GC-MS methods for structural characterization. As the technical director of the CHROMacademy, Taylor has spent the past 12 years as a trainer and developing online education materials in analytical chemistry techniques.