Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography

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chrommgr's picture
Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography

This is my first post to this forum.

You may have heard about the Acquity UPLC system from Waters Corp. It's being heralded by Waters as the next generation in HPLC, the most significant advance in HPLC in the last 30 years. Particle size is 1.7 microns. Pressures of up to 15,000 psi. Runtimes sliced to one-tenth of what you're currently running by HPLC. Equivalent plate numbers approaching those only found in GC (until now).

My question is, will UPLC catch on among those of you in the pharmaceutical, biotech, enviornmental and medical device industries? If so, could you ever see these industries outsourcing their UPLC work to a third party testing lab, equipped with UPLC?

I appreciate your candid response.


Bettye's picture
Welcome! I'm new in the field

Welcome! I'm new in the field of phamaceutical work so, I can only give you a newbie's advice. I work for a small company, who is dedicated to following every FDA, GMP rule and them some! Every new procedure, piece of equipment, etc is strigently validated, then sometimes revalidated. I do not see them purchasing a UPLC in the near or distant future unless a USP protocol called for it. I think though, that if they needed samples run on UPLC, they would not hesitate to contract out.

Hope that helps.

Bettye's picture
Oh... but I would think large

Oh... but I would think large phamaceutical companies would work with a UPLC....

Kharir's picture
UPLC will usefull if you have

UPLC will usefull if you have large number of samples. My company using UPLC for analysing multivitamin (water soluble) and can cut run time to less than 5 minute (6 time shorter than HPLC method).

jithomps's picture
I guess it's all about if the

I guess it's all about if the ends justify the means. If you are a large pharmaceutical company who needs to get shipments approved and out the door in a hurry your QC department would greatly benefit from the slice in run and processing time. On the other hand, as Betty pointed out, new method development, SOPs, etc. will have to be implemented which will eat up time. Definately have to weigh the pros and the cons.

mbicking's picture
I agree with the other

I agree with the other replies, and would like to add the following comments.

"UPLC" is a marketing term created by Waters. It has no real meaning otherwise.

THe only real advantage of UPLC is the ability to use very small particles in a long column, thus requiring very high pressures. The separating ability of such columns is very large, and is very useful if you have, say, 100 peaks to separate.

If you have only a few peaks to separate, then spending money on a UPLC system is silly. You can get a very good separation of five peaks in under two minutes using standard columns (4.6 X 50 mm, 3 um) and a modern LC (e.g., Agilent 1100).