All Things Chromatography

Doing Thin Layer Chromatography at home

Sean Michael Ragan at Makezine.com recently posted a great post about Thin Layer Chromatography in the kitchen - here's some excerpts:

During my six-odd years as a graduate organic chemist, probably the cheapest, most powerful, and most commonly used analytical laboratory technique in my bag of tricks was thin-layer chromatography...

[another] common reason for performing separations is analytical: You want to get an idea of how many compounds are in there and whether or not one of them is compound "X." Thin-layer chromatography lets you do this, on a bench-top, with a few cents worth of materials and a few minutes of time. It's unbelievably powerful for such an inexpensive technique.

 Click here to read the complete post.

 

Topics: Separation, chromatography, Thin Layer Chromatography, test

CDC recommends Thin Layer Chromatography to test anti-malarial drugs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that, "Counterfeit (fake) drugs are products deliberately made to resemble a brand name pharmaceutical. They may contain no active ingredients or contain ingredients inconsistent with the package description."
Malaria treatment
For example, the CDC says, "In Cambodia in 1999, counterfeit antimalarial drugs were responsible for the deaths of at least 30 people. A recent survey in Southeast Asia showed that among 104 tablets presented as the antimalarial drug artesunate, 38% did not contain any artesunate."

Users of pharmaceutical products (not only antimalarials) should take the following precautions:

  • Travelers should purchase in advance, in their home country, all the medicines they will need.
  • Travelers should record the drug's generic and brand names as well as the name of the manufacturer; should they run out, they can look for the correct product.
  • Make sure that the drug is in its original packaging.
  • Inspect the packaging because many times poor quality printing indicates a counterfeited product.
  • Be suspicious of tablets that have a peculiar odor, taste or color, or that are extremely brittle.

The CDC recommends testing suspicious drugs.

"drug quality can be evaluated in the field by two simple, effective, and low-cost techniques: thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and colorimetry... The TLC technique consists of placing a spot of drug sample on a thin layer of silica attached to a plate of glass, aluminum, or plastic. The plate is then inserted into a vessel containing a solvent mixture. By capillary action, the solvent mixture creeps up the silica material and dissolves the sample. The drug sample consists of a mixture of drug and inactive ingredients. These compounds will have various affinities to the silica matrix and will migrate with the solvent at various speeds. This characteristic effectively separates out a mixture of compounds. After migration of the solvent is complete, individual components can be visualized by chemical treatment or ultraviolet (UV) absorbance. The distance that the components migrate is characteristic for each compound; therefore the active ingredient can be recognized by comparison with a known drug standard. The solvent can be modified to increase resolution between various components. This method is relatively inexpensive, specific, and sensitive. It is commonly used to assess drug quality."

Click Here for more details from the CDC.

Click Here to find out more about Thin Layer Chromatography plates and accessories.

Topics: Separation, malaria, anti-malarial, Thin Layer Chromatography, testing, test

Chromatography for everyone

Whenever people ask what we do, our normal response is, "We manufacture the best Thin Layer Chromatography products in the world."

Which leads to either the blank stare or "Oh yea, I remember separating color from leaves once."leaf

Well, our friends at Do It Science have posted a step-by-step method anyone can use to separate the color in leaves.

Click Here for the easy to follow instructions - great for parents, teachers, and others who want to share the basic principles of chromatography.

Topics: Green, Separation, teachers, chromatography

Separation of Lipids via Thin Layer Chromatography

This post comes to us from "Biochem write up"

Intro:
The aim of this practical is to carry out TLC in which the substances we wish to separate are absorbed onto the thin layer. Lipids are determined by isolation and the ability to purify the substance. Due to the way the substances interact with the matrix in different ways we are able to seperate them. Substances which interact strongly with the matrix but not with the solvent will move very slowly and those soluble in the solvent will dissolve easily and be carried along the solvent.
thin layer chromatography phospholipids
Egg yolk contains trioleine, cholesterol palmitate and phosphatidylethonolamine, The most polar of the three elements is the second element. It hardly moves up the TLC because of the presence of several polar groups; phosphate groups, amine groups and several oxygens , and cholesterol palmitate being the most non polar. 

Learn More! Click Here for a Free Download of our mini-application note: Analysis of Phospholipids by One-Dimensional Thin-Layer Chromatography 

Topics: Separation, Scientist, Thin Layer Chromatography, Blog, lipids