Stationary phase modulation in liquid chromatography through the serial coupling of columns: A review.

Published on Jun 7, 2016in Analytica Chimica Acta5.977
· DOI :10.1016/J.ACA.2016.03.040
T. Alvarez-Segura5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Valencia),
Jose Ramon Torres-Lapasio30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of Valencia)
+ 1 AuthorsM.C. García-Alvarez-Coque31
Estimated H-index: 31
(University of Valencia)
Abstract Liquid chromatography with single columns often does not succeed in the analysis of complex samples, in terms of resolution and analysis time. A relatively simple solution to enhance chromatographic resolution is the modulation of the stationary phase through the serial coupling of columns. This can be implemented with any type of column using compatible elution conditions and conventional instruments. This review describes the key features of column coupling and published procedures, where two or more columns were coupled in series to solve separation problems. In all reports, the authors could not resolve their samples with single columns, whereas significant enhancement in chromatographic performance was obtained when the columns were combined. Particularly interesting is the reduction in the analysis time in the isocratic mode, which alleviates the “general elution problem” of liquid chromatography, and may represent a stimulus for the proposal of new procedures, especially in combination with mass spectrometric, electrochemical and refractometric detection. Developments proposed to make the serial coupling of columns useful in routine and research laboratories are outlined, including optimisation strategies that facilitate the selection of the appropriate column combination and elution conditions (solvent content, flow rate or temperature) in both isocratic and gradient modes. The availability of zero dead volume couplers, able to connect standard columns, and the commercialisation of short columns with multiple lengths, have expanded the possibilities of success.
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