New Insights into Chiral Chromatography: Exploring Efficient Separation Methods and Enantioselectivity Assessment


In the field of chiral chromatography, researchers continue to explore how to increase efficiency and innovation in the quest for improved separation techniques. At the HPLC 2023 conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, Alberto Cavazzini of the University of Ferrara in Italy presented the findings of a group of scientists on the development of highly efficient chiral stationary phases (CSPs) and a novel approach to assessing enantioselectivity (1).

The researchers explored various types of CSPs, including polysaccharide-based, macrocyclic antibiotics, and brush-type phases, aiming to identify key factors influencing the kinetic performance of chiral separations. By analyzing the impact of particle geometry, particle pore size, and the loading of chiral selectors, they sought to optimize the efficiency of chiral chromatography across different chromatographic modes, such as RP and NP, HILIC, and SFC.

One of the notable highlights of the study was the use of synthetic brush-type CSPs with inverted chirality. These novel CSPs showed promising results in achieving high-resolution chiral separations. Moreover, the researchers made a significant breakthrough by demonstrating that the assessment of enantioselectivity can be accomplished without the need for both enantiomers.

Traditionally, enantioselectivity assessment in chiral chromatography requires the availability of both enantiomers of the target analyte. However, the researchers proposed an alternative method that overcomes this requirement. By utilizing the unique properties of brush-type CSPs with inverted chirality, they were able to determine enantioselectivity using only one enantiomer, thereby simplifying the analytical process.

This breakthrough has significant implications for the field of chiral chromatography, as it reduces the need for synthesizing or acquiring both enantiomers of chiral compounds. It streamlines the analytical workflow, saving time, resources, and cost. Furthermore, this new approach opens doors for exploring enantioselectivity in cases where acquiring both enantiomers is challenging or impossible.

The findings presented by Cavazzini at HPLC 2023 shed light on the ongoing advancements in chiral chromatography and the potential for enhanced separation techniques. The research team's innovative approach to enantioselectivity assessment marks a significant step forward in the field and paves the way for further research and development of efficient chiral separations.

As researchers continue to delve into the fundamentals of chiral chromatography, the insights gained from this study will likely contribute to the future design of more efficient chiral stationary phases and broaden the horizons of chiral separation methodologies.


(1) Cavazzini, A.; Catani, M.; Felletti, S.; De Luca, C.; Mazzoccanti, G.; Gasparrini, F. Modern chiral chromatography, from the fundamentals of the separation to innovative applications. Do we always need the two enantiomers to assess enantioselectivity? Presented at the 51st International Symposium on High Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques, Dusseldorf, Germany, June 20, 2023.

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