New Nexera unified chromatography enables liquid and supercritical fluid chromatography with a single system
European analytical instrumentation company Shimadzu has released the Nexera UC/s (SFC/UHPLC switching system). It allows measurements either by liquid chromatography (LC) or supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) on a single system.
LC and SFC offer very different selectivity for analytes of interest. Switching between SFC and LC permits fast screening for optimum separation conditions.
Liquid chromatographs is widely used in drug discovery. However, separation of components with identical physical and chemical properties, such as optical isomers, is challenging to achieve with liquid chromatographs and method development can take a long time.
Supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), using a mobile phase with both liquid- and gas-like properties, has frequently been shown to be the alternative method of choice, especially for separation of chiral compounds. It can generate up to five times the linear velocity of RP-LC, while reducing the amount of organic solvent consumption.
There are definite advantages to screening with both SFC and (U)HPLC separation methods. The most efficient way, claim the company, is to combine the two methods into one instrument.
With Nexera UC/s, components that co-elute using LC can easily be re-tested using SFC. A hybrid system enables most efficient method screening using the two orthogonal techniques in one sequence.
The Nexera UC/s provides two separation modes on a single system, so it requires less space than two dedicated systems and also reduces the initial purchase price. A newly-released kit to upgrade an existing Nexera UHPLC system to a Nexera UC/s further decreases the investment cost for the additional SFC system.
Using the dedicated Method Scouting Solution software, screening sequences using (U)HPLC or SFC separation methods are created automatically.
The process of switching between SFC and (U)HPLC methodology can be accomplished in a few minutes, providing stable, reproducible results while switching between separation modes in one batch.
Existing Shimadzu (U)HPLC systems can be upgraded easily to build a Nexera UC/s, offering a full SFC/UHPLC setup while saving acquisition cost as well as lab space.