Electrophoretic Separations

Advantages and Disadvantages of HILIC; a Brief Overview

May 31 2012

Author: James Heaton and Norman W. Smith on behalf of Kings College London

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Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) is fast becoming the preferred technique when encountered with polar and/or basic solutes. In comparison to reversed-phase, HILIC affords several advantages making the technique in such cases. In particular, the kinetic advantages yield much higher solute diffusivity, increased sensitivity with ESI-MS and highly symmetrical peak shapes.

Heavy reliance on the aprotic solvent acetonitrile can be viewed as the major disadvantage of HILIC predominantly from a sourcing perspective. Furthermore, in light of the highly valued and well understood method development associated with reversed-phase liquid chromatography it could be perceived that HILIC is a less flexible technique. Therefore while the HILIC mode of LC is being taken up on a more widespread basis, especially in the arena of drug and biological substance analysis, it is worthwhile to consider its basis, ad as well as some advantages and disadvantages of the technique, particularly in the arena of drug and biological substance analysis are presented.

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