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Review
. 2013 May 31;1292:2-18.
doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2012.09.061. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Coupling Ultra High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography With Mass Spectrometry: Constraints and Possible Applications

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Review

Coupling Ultra High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography With Mass Spectrometry: Constraints and Possible Applications

Marta Rodriguez-Aller et al. J Chromatogr A. .

Abstract

The introduction of columns packed with porous sub-2μm particles and the extension of the upper pressure limit of HPLC instrumentation to 1300bar (ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography, UHPLC) has opened new frontiers in resolution and speed of analysis. However, certain constraints appear when coupling UHPLC technology with mass spectrometry (MS). First, the most significant limitation is related to the narrow peaks that are produced by UHPLC that require a fast duty cycle, which is only available on the latest generations of MS devices. Thus, certain analyzers are more readily compatible with UHPLC (e.g., QqQ or TOF/MS) than others (e.g., ion trap or FT-MS). Second, due to the reduction of the column volume, extra-column band broadening can become significant, leading to a reduction in the kinetic performance of the UHPLC-MS configuration. Third, as the mobile phase linear velocity is higher in UHPLC, the electrospray ionization source must also be able to provide high sensitivity at flow rates of up to 1mL/min. Despite these limitations, the UHPLC-MS/MS platform has successfully been employed over the last decade for various types of applications, including those related to bioanalysis, drug metabolism, multi-residue screening, metabolomics, biopharmaceuticals and polar compounds.

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