Basic Information

Abstract Number: 320 - 3
Author Name: Milos V Novotny - Indiana University
Session Title: New Perspectives on the History of Chromatography
Event Type: Organized Contributed Sessions
Event Title: Evolution of Capillary Chromatography and Capillary Electrophoresis: A Personal Perspective

Presider Name:Sarah Reisert
Affiliation:Chemical Heritage Foundation

Date: Monday, March 7, 2016
Start Time: 09:10 AM (Slot #3)
Location: B407

Abstract Content

Today’s capillary separations represent powerful approaches to analyze complex mixtures of natural or synthetic origin. From the concept of open tubular (capillary) column introduced by Marcel Golay in 1956, capillary gas chromatography (GC) evolved through the 1960s and 1970s to demonstrate high resolving power and its numerous applications: first in petrochemistry, but increasingly in environmental and biochemical analysis. New column technologies (surface treatments, coating procedures, bonded phases) were important, while the initially used metal and glass capillaries yielded to fused silica columns. New detection technologies, including coupling of capillary GC with mass spectrometry (MS), demanded advances in instrumental design, to which instrument companies gradually responded. The fields of capillary liquid chromatography (LC) and capillary electrophoresis (CE) were initiated in the late 1970s and early 1980s in response to the needs to analyze complex nonvolatile biological mixtures. Diffusional characteristics of the solutes in the liquid phase necessitated significant decreases in column diameters and particle size, and the term “capillary” became no longer synonymous with “open tubular”. While progress in these fields was initially slow, capillary LC, CE, and ultrahigh-pressure LC have developed to revolutionize some of the most important fields of human endeavor (Human Genome Project and systems biology). Miniaturization of instrumental design has greatly facilitated certain trends in both gas-phase and liquid-phase separations such as microfluidics and multidimensional separations. Their combination with MS (as “the ultimate detector”) is vital to reach successful applications of these tools. Capillary separation techniques will further thrive with advances in separation matrixes, column design and instrumental improvements.