Varian has launched a new column for reverse phase HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) and LC/MS (liquid chromatography mass spectrometry) applications that, it claims, offer faster separations without sacrificing resolution.
The company says that the C8 column, part of Varian's Pursuit range of columns, will speed the LC/MS analysis of new drugs ranging from steroids and antibiotics to vitamins and antidepressants.
In the case of antidepressants - which are ideal probes for exposing column deficiencies, especially under high pH conditions - the company claims that up to a 50 per cent time-saving can be realised over competitive columns while generating data with more reliable quantitation.
"We've designed the Pursuit C8 columns to deliver rapid separations with outstanding resolution in the analyses of molecules common in pharmaceutical and other industries," said Martin O'Donoghue, vice president of scientific instruments at Varian.
By reducing the overall hydrophobic nature of the column and tailoring the phase density, Varian was able to develop a column that separates analytes faster resulting in a decrease in analysis time. Pursuit C8 columns offer faster run times, enhanced selectivity and improved peak symmetry compared to rival brands.
Meanwhile, Varian has expanded its offering of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) products with a new 800 MHz Cold Probe for research in proteomics and structural biology. Previously, Varian has shipped Cold Probes for spectrometers at lower magnet fields for bio-molecular and pharmaceutical research.
The primary users of 800 MHz NMR systems are academic research laboratories focused on the study of bio-molecules including proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates.
NMR spectroscopy, in particular, is capable of taking proteomics to the next level where scientists study not only the structure, but also the dynamics and the interactions of proteins with other molecules. With NMR, it is possible to get insight into how proteins fulfill their functions by changing as other molecules attach to them. This in turn gives researchers important clues as to how mis-functioning proteins can cause diseases.
Due to large size of the proteins and nucleic acids used in this research it is essential to use a high field NMR instrument that provides increased resolution and better spread of signals. Proteins used for NMR studies require special isotope enrichments that often result in low availability of the molecule to be studied. This, combined with the desire to study proteins at close to physiological conditions, lead to diluted NMR samples that are difficult, if not impossible to detect using traditional NMR technology.
"The introduction of cryogenic probe technology - or Cold Probes - produced a dramatic increase in the inherent sensitivity of NMR spectrometers thus making possible the study of many biochemical systems otherwise impractical," said Varian.
Varian's Cold Probes have also been optimised for the demanding task of suppressing the irrelevant signal from water which will typically be one million times larger then the signals of the protein studied.