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Techniques & Tools Liquid Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Preparative/Process Chromatography, Clinical, Environmental, Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Materials, Pharma & Biopharma

What’s New in Chromatography?

Rare achievements. Rare earth metals have unique magnetic and electrical properties that help power the production of modern technologies, like microchips – thus, increasing their demand. The two main methods of extractions, deposits and recycling of electronic devices, do not provide sufficient quantities. Recently, researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, designed a magnetized chromatography-based method to improve the recycling process of light bulbs for the collection of rare earth phosphors. The authors report “purities of up to 95.3 percent at recoveries of 93.6 percent,” thanks to their new technology, which enabled a controlled separation of the phosphor particles. “The possibility of scaling up the process by increasing the column size or transferring it to continuous processing methods could further enhance its practical applicability in industry,” the researchers concluded in their paper.

Monitoring melasma medication. The traditional treatment for melasma – a skin condition distinguished by abnormal hyperpigmentation – relies on multicomponent pharmaceutical creams. Monitoring their active agents can be challenging due to possible interaction with other components during quality control analysis. With that in mind, Mostafa Khairy and his team developed a stability-indicating RP-HPLC-UV assay – for detection of parabens, hydroquinone, and tretinoin in melasma treatment creams. The researchers successfully quantified multiple components simultaneously for the first time using their chromatographic method. Marcello Locatelli, one of the collaborators, attributed the success of their project to collaboration: “Proud of this teamwork with Egyptian Friends and Colleagues just accepted in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis.”

Bone for bone. According to a recent research, chicken broth is more than just a home remedy for a cold; it could possibly delay osteoporosis progression. Scientists from Tsurumi University, Japan, decided to analyze chicken-vegetable bone broth and identify potential agents that could prevent the disease – considering the recognition of bone broth as a superfood. Using ion-exchange chromatography, the team detected two components; hyaluronan and chondroitin sulfate. Both were shown to increase bone mineral and density as well as bone volume and tissue – which are typically depleted with osteoporosis. The authors suggest that their study could provide the foundation to target and develop bone broth as a supplement for osteoporosis. 

SFC advancements. Unlike liquid chromatography, modeling software packages have not been developed for supercritical fluid chromatography – tools essential for the optimization of chromatographic analysis of pharmaceuticals. For the first time, researchers from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, have advanced a pre-existing linear solvent strength model (LSSM) to improve SFC separation of therapeutic peptides. Complex peptides such as Bac and Tyro were successfully isolated from samples, despite initial challenges with parameter inputs. “This work demonstrates the applicability of currently available modeling software for predicting high-modifier SFC separations with limitations in predicting the peak widths and slight drifts in the retention times,” write the authors.

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In Other News…


Analysis with gas chromatography–olfactometry and aroma extract dilution of orange juice attributes undesired clove-like off-flavor to 5-Vinylguaiacol (5VG) – a cleaning agent residue. Link

Post-mortem gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of aging supercapacitors reveals increased decomposition with doping – paving the way for mitigation strategies to extend the lifespan and performance of electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs). Link

Scientists combine HPTLC with digital image analysis and multivariate linear regression to assess adulteration of sage by olive leaves. Link 

PFAS shown to have increased transfer efficiency from maternal blood to human milk the longer the lactation period is, according to analysis with UHPLC/MS. Link 

Researchers monitor circulation of parabens – toxic preservatives found in cosmetics – for the first time in wild boar hair samples using LC-MS. Link

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Markella Loi

Associate Editor, The Analytical Scientist

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