Journal of Chromatography A vol:1189 issue:1-2 pages:59-71
A useful column characterisation system should help chromatographers to select the most appropriate column to use, e.g. when a particular chromatographic column is not available or when facing the dilemma of selecting a suitable column for analysis according to an official monograph. Official monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia and the United States Pharmacopeia are not allowed to mention the brand name of the stationary phase used for the method development. Also given the overwhelming offer of several hundreds of commercially available reversed-phase liquid chromatographic columns, the choice of a suitable column could be difficult sometimes. To support rational column selection, a column characterisation study was started in our laboratory in 2000. In the same period, Euerby et at. also developed a column characterisation system, which is now released as Column Selector by ACD/Labs. The aim of this project was to compare the two existing column characterisation systems, i.e. the KUL system and the Euerby system. Other research groups active in this field will not be discussed here. Euerby et al. developed a column characterisation system based on 6 test parameters, while the KUL system is based on 4 chromatographic parameters. Comparison was done using a set of 63 columns. For 7 different pharmaceutical separations (fluoxetine, gemcitabine, erythromycin, tetracycline, tetracaine, amlodipine and bisacodyl), a ranking was built based on an F-value (KUL method) or Column Difference Factor value (Euerby method) versus a (virtual) reference column. Both methods showed a similar ranking. The KUL and Euerby methods do not perfectly match, but they yield very similar results, allowing with a relatively high certainty, the selection of similar or dissimilar columns as compared to a reference column. An analyst that uses either of the two methods, will end up with a similar ranking. From a practical point of view, it must be noted that the KUL method only includes 4 parameters and 3 chromatographic methods compared to 6 parameters and 4 methods for the Euerby method. Hence, the time needed to determine the chromatographic properties of a column is shorter for the KUL approach. Access to the KUL method also requires no download procedures. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.