June 10, 2009

E-Separation Solutions

E-Separation Solutions-06-11-2009, Volume 0, Issue 0

The market for high performance liquid chromatography continues to be one of the most dynamic markets of the analytical instruments industry.

The market for high performance liquid chromatography continues to be one of the most dynamic markets of the analytical instruments industry. Innovations in mass spectrometry helped to fuel growth for the HPLC market. But, in many cases, HPLC was somewhat of an afterthought and considered to be a mere inlet to MS. The introduction and development of Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) systems is forcing change in the liquid chromatography market as users re-evaluate existing and explore new applications.

Experience with UHPLC

Most of the major HPLC vendors now offer UHPLC systems capable of withstanding backpressures from using sub 2 or sub 3 micron particle columns. Interest and use of UHPLC systems has certainly increased at a fast pace due to several obvious benefits like throughput, sensitivity and resolution. While the pharmaceutical industry has been the early adopters of UHPLC technology, other industrial segments are also outfitting their labs with UHPLC systems. The benefits are being discovered by HPLC users and have consequently expanded the market into the mainstream.

A recent survey of liquid chromatography users, participants were asked about their experience with UHPLC. More than half of the respondents were currently using UHPLC technology. An additional nine percent have at least evaluated a system. Approximately 16% of the respondents indicated they were well-informed about UHPLC technology, while nearly a fifth of the respondents indicated they have no experience. Nearly all users with experience with UHPLC generally have a favorable opinion towards UPHLC and indicated that perhaps up to two-thirds of their applications could be converted to UHPLC technology.

Speed of analysis and low solvent usage tends to be the most compelling reasons to convert to HPLC methods to UHPLC. These benefits also positively affect a lab’s productivity, throughput and methods development. Because the runtimes are significantly shorter, users can reduce the optimization process of their methods simply because they can string more runs in a particular day. The soaring cost of solvents such as acetonitrile (ACN) is forcing users to evaluate methods and consider more efficient technologies.

The foregoing data was extracted and adapted from SDi’s recently published report, Liquid Chromatography: User Requirements Forcing Change. For more information, contact Glenn Cudiamat, VP of Research Services, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, tel. (310) 641-4982, fax (310) 641-8851, e-mail:cudiamat@strategic-directions.com