High Performance Countercurrent Chromatography (HPCCC) finally allows the advantages of liquid/liquid chromatography to be used in mainstream purification in medicinal chemistry

Oct 26 2009

Author: David J Keay and Lee Janaway on behalf of Unassigned Independent Article

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Chemists have known of the potential benefits that liquid/liquid chromatography would have over solid/liquid chromatography for many years. Yet solid/liquid chromatography techniques, such as HPLC or Flash have become the workhorses of purification, while, until only recently liquid/liquid chromatography, namely Countercurrent chromatography (CCC) has been barely used and then primarily a technique for natural products or academic research. The lack of uptake happened due to the limitations of early CCC instruments that were often poorly engineered and unreliable. Purifications took hours and due to analytical scale instruments not being available the minimum sample required was in the region of a gram. It is, therefore easy to understand why the status quo developed.

High Performance Countercurrent chromatography is the rebirth of liquid/liquid chromatography in the 21st century However, a new generation of CCC instruments, High Performance Countercurrent Chromatography (HPCCC) instruments, has led to the rebirth of liquid/liquid chromatography in the 21st century. These instruments range from analytical scale through to kilo, while performance has been significantly enhanced reducing purification times to minutes. The development of HPCCC instruments combined with the limitations that chemists are experiencing with solid/liquid chromatography techniques, has created an environment where
chemists are using the benefits that liquid/liquid chromatography can offer them to solve current purification challenges.

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