Volume 2 Issue 4
Welcome to the eighth edition of Chromatography Today. It only seems like yesterday when we had the first discussion between Chromatography Today and The Chromatographic Society about this joint venture, which now is rapidly gaining status with the chromatography community. Long may it last.
I would first like to introduce myself as the new president of The Chromatographic Society, taking over from the “famed” John Lough, who was the main driver in initiating and cementing what now is the successful partnership with Chromatography Today. For those who do not know me, I joined The Chromatographic Society some eight years ago holding the post as Vice President for those years. I have been heavily involved with chromatography development for many years, firstly with ICI Ltd and then latterly with LGC Ltd, and have been very fortunate in seeing some of the early ideas in separation science being transformed and developed into practical usable technologies to advance both science and industry. This edition in some ways mirrors such developments. Michael Tswett who is credited with developing and publishing the first concept of chromatography, developed the technique not for analytical purposes but to separate complex matrices into fractions. This preparative technology has come along way since then. Preparative Chromatography has always had a place in the development laboratories of both academia and industry, all reach the stage when they need enough of the discovered or developed substance to either gain more structural information or to provide
enough sample to allow for quantitative analysis.
For many years the technology was essentially “low tech” with the use of loosely packed column beds and the isolation of bands from TLC plates. The development of HPLC in the 1960’s saw preparative chromatography move into a new era. We gained a better understanding on how to make and control column packing’s, how to pack efficient column beds, how to control solvent flow and how to inject, detect and collect fractions reproducibly. This resulted in “off the shelf” instrumentation capable of producing anything from mg to Kg fractions and has even seen preparative chromatography reach “production scale”. Other technologies have also come to the fore: The use of supercritical fluids has found a niche, providing not only a “green” alternative to a technique that may involve the use of large volumes of “carbon rich” solvents ,but have the added benefit of providing a solution to some of the most difficult and challenging areas of stereoisomer separations.
Counter Current Chromatography is another technique now being explored -here we eliminate the issues and the costs of a packed bed, whilst benefiting from a wider choice of solvent polarities and the ability to handle samples containing particulates. Preparative chromatography has proven essential to the developments and discoveries of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries and has found extensive applications in the separation of natural products (where it all began), petrochemical, food and fine chemicals areas.
It has come along way since the turn of the century and offers more for the future. I trust the enclosed articles give you an insight into the current status and potential of the technology. Returning to home and The Chromatographic Society, this edition contains a meeting report from the 18th Reid BioAnalytical Forum, one of our key biennial meetings organised by the Forum Syndicate of the Society. This is a very successful, internationally recognised and long running meeting, hosted at the University of Surrey. Other articles in this edition include the launch of the John Dolphin Fellowships- designed to help students attend overseas conferences. These are funded by the estate of the late John Dolphin, a previous President of the Society. It is hoped in the next and subsequent years we see these Fellowships extensively used. For more information see the article and please let us have your applications for 2010. The 2010 Chromatographic Society Meeting Calendar has been finalised and is also attached, a series of events are planned which we hope can mirror the successful meetings of 2009.
Happy Christmas to you all and good luck from The Chromatographic Society for the New Year.
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