Effect of analyte properties on the kinetic performance of liquid chromatographic separations
Advances in modern high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) have led to increased interest in the comparison of the ultimate performance limits of methodologies aimed at increasing the resolving power per unit time. Kinetic plot-based methods have proven invaluable in facilitating such evaluations. However, in bridging the gap between fundamental comparisons and the eventual practical applicability of kinetic performance data, the effect of analyte properties have thus far largely been neglected. Using pharmaceutical compounds as representative real-life analytes, it is demonstrated that noteworthy differences in the optimal kinetic performance of a chromatographic system are observed compared to data for common test compounds. For a given stationary phase particle size, higher optimal- and maximum plate numbers, corresponding to increased analysis times, are measured for pharmaceutical compounds. Moreover, it is found that the optimal particle size/maximum pressure combination depends on the analyte under investigation, with the beneficial range of efficiencies for small particles shifted towards higher plate numbers for drug molecules. It is further demonstrated that the pH of the mobile phase plays a crucial role in determining the kinetic performance of pharmaceutical compounds. These data clearly indicate that data for test compounds do not reflect the performance attainable for pharmaceutical compounds and highlights the importance of using real-life samples to perform kinetic evaluations. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.