Retention modelling in liquid chromatographic separation of simvastatin and six impurities using a microemulsion as eluent

J Sep Sci. 2004 Sep;27(13):1087-92. doi: 10.1002/jssc.200401748.


A novel and unique approach was used for retention modelling in the separation of simvastatin and six impurities by liquid chromatographic using a microemulsion as mobile phase. A microemulsion is a modification of a micellar system where a lipophilic organic solvent is dissolved in the micelles; for that reason, microemulsions are usually treated as solvent-modified micellar solutions. When microemulsions are used as eluents in HPLC separations, solutes partition between the charged oil droplets and the aqueous buffer phase. The complexity of the composition of the microemulsion permits extensive manipulations to be made during method development in order to achieve acceptable resolution of such a complex mixture of substances. In order to avoid a laborious "trial and error" procedure, a 2(3) full factorial design was applied for choosing an optimal microemulsion composition to obtain good separation in a reasonable run time. Organic solvent, sodium dodecyl sulphate, and n-butanol content were varied within defined experimental domain. Optimal conditions for the separation of simvastatin and its six impurities were obtained using an X Terra 50 x 4.6 mm, 3.5 microm particle size column at 30 degrees C. The mobile phase consisted of 0.9% w/w of diisopropyl ether, 2.2% w/w of sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS), 7.0% w/w of co-surfactant such as n-butanol, and 89.9% w/w of aqueous 25 mM disodium phosphate pH 7.0.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Emulsions / chemistry*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Simvastatin* / analogs & derivatives
  • Simvastatin* / chemistry
  • Simvastatin* / isolation & purification
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Time Factors


  • Emulsions
  • Solvents
  • Simvastatin