Journal of chromatography. A

Rapid method development for chiral separation in drug discovery using multi-column parallel screening and circular dichroism signal pooling.

PMID 15499919


A novel strategy for rapid chiral method development has been developed using multi-column parallel screening and circular dichroism (CD) signal pooling. Described is the first use of a customized HPLC system that integrates an HPLC auto-sampler, one pump and five divided channels with five columns and five UV detectors to screen five chiral stationary phases (CSPs) simultaneously in parallel. A high-pressure semi-prep on-line pre-filter, a six-port manifold and five individually adjusted backpressure restrictors were installed in the system which allowed the sample and mobile phase to be evenly distributed over the five columns and UV detectors. The five CSPs, namely Chiralpak AD and AS, Chiralcel OJ and OD and Whelk-O1, were screened. The system guarantees a five-fold increase in speed for chiral column scouting compared with the widely used automated sequential column switching approach, and does not have the limitations of the coupled column screening approach for enantiomers whose elution order could be reversed on CSPs. Furthermore, the five channels after the UV detectors were recombined using a reversed flow splitter into a CD detector. The pooled CD signal from the five channels was recorded to track the elution order of the resolved enantiomers and to determine their sign, positive or negative. The signal pooling allows for the effective use of a single CD detector for multiple columns since unresolved racemate has little CD signal, and observing the sign of CD signal for one of the two enantiomer UV peaks is sufficient for tracking the enantiomeric elution order.