Since the introduction of UHPLC, strategies for fast method development are being discussed. A wide variety of columns with different separation properties is available, offering the user a number of columns suited to a specific application. To automate this evaluation step and get quick information about the best column and mobile phase, different strategies have been applied.
The Nexera Method Scouting system has been designed to be used for fast and simple screening of possible combinations of columns and mobile phases. The two pumps in the binary gradient system are therefore equipped with quaternary gradient capabilities for the aqueous and organic solvents supporting solvent blending on each of the pumps. To handle a number of columns, the system has a selection valve which allows a maximum of six columns to be chosen in a scouting process. The photodiode array of MS detectors can be used in combination with the system.
To support the complex and time consuming process of method development and sequence setup, special software is applied on top of the LabSolutions software. A simple user interface allows a fast setup of the method, column selection and adaptation of the gradient profile and analysis time. Global system parameters such as rinse volume and column and solvent database are set once at the beginning, and can be selected afterwards by a tick box.
For data analysis, features of the standard software such as the data browser can be used for a fast and simple overview of the result. A pre-selection is done according to the number of separated peaks. For a more detailed look at the results – a specially designed Agent Report is available.
To offer a complete solution, the Method Scouting can be combined with the dedicated DryLab® 4 software for Method Optimisation to get a clear picture of method details and optimal separation conditions and the robust space. If a complete method validation should be the result of all investigations, the Validat ® software can be linked to the LabSolutions software and performs the necessary calculations while delivering all results in compliance with the regulations.
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