Journal of separation science

Dynamic evaluation of polypropylene capillary-channeled fibers as a stationary phase in high-performance liquid chromatography.

PMID 23109248


Polypropylene (PP) capillary-channeled polymer (C-CP) fiber stationary phases are investigated for applications in HPLC. Specifically, the roles that fiber size and shape, linear velocity, interstitial fraction, and column inner diameter play in separation efficiency were evaluated using a uracil and butylparaben mixture eluted under isocratic conditions. Four fiber types, having nominal diameters ranging from 30 to 65 μm, were used in 250 mm × 2.1 mm columns. Optimum flow characteristics, as judged by plate height and resolution, were observed for 40 μm diameter PP C-CP fibers packed at an interstitial fraction of ~0.63, over a broad range of linear velocities (~2 to 37 mm/s). The influence of column inner diameter was studied on 1.5, 2.1, and 4.6 mm columns packed at the optimal interstitial fraction. The best performing column in terms of plate height and resolution was the 2.1 mm inner diameter. C-CP columns were also evaluated for the separation of a protein mixture composed of ribonuclease A, cytochrome c, and transferrin. Results obtained with the biomacromolecules mixture validate the optimal structural and operative conditions determined with the small solutes, laying the groundwork towards biomacromolecule applications, focusing more on the chemical aspects of separations.