Running a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) lab requires constant budgeting and maintenance. Ruining an expensive piece of equipment could harm your entire operation. Whether you rent or buy your equipment, it’s important to know how to take care of your HPLC pumps and columns. Follow these tips for maintaining your chromatography system to ensure efficiency in your lab.
What Is Chromatography?
Chromatography is an advanced science used for the identification, separation, purification, and quantification of solvents. It’s used to analyze food, drug, and biological samples. The method requires a mobile and stationary phase during which solvents are categorized and sorted into plates.
HPLC Column Care
Columns, pumps, and tubing are used to perform HPLC, and they’re all expensive and fragile. It is important to extend the life of your equipment with good maintenance. Ways to ensure you don’t prematurely damage your HPLC columns include:
- Using a column guard between the inject valve and the column.
- Replacing worn parts such as the O-rings in manually packed columns.
- Properly storing and cleaning your columns to prevent bacterial growth.
HPLC Pump Maintenance
Maintaining your HPLC pumps is one of the most important aspects of chromatography system care. You should use HPLC-grade solvents and have your system serviced regularly. Furthermore, you may need to update your software and make sure you’re using the correct tubing for the solvents you’re working with. This will ensure you don’t have to flush your system after an analysis. You can avoid some maintenance when you keep extra HPLC pump parts on hand to improve your system, which includes:
- Inlet solvent filters
- Inlet check valves
- Outlet check valves
- Piston seals
- Replacement HPLC tubing
- Replacement HPLC fittings
Follow these tips for maintaining your chromatography system to save time and money in the lab. Your goal should be to maintain an efficient system that will produce accurate test results every time. Your bottom line rests on the data that comes out of your lab. Chromatography is only getting better and better as this revolutionary science continues to advance—and you can advance along with it.