• The new Nexera UC/s (SFC/UHPLC switching system) offers use of two different separation techniques with a single system and significantly improves analytical efficiency with reduced instrument purchase costs

SFC/UHPLC Switching System Combines Improved Efficiency with Reduced Cost of Acquisition

Jan 02 2018 Read 501 Times

Shimadzu’s Nexera UC/s (SFC/UHPLC switching system) allows measurements either by liquid chromatography (LC) or supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) on a single system. LC and SFC offer very different selectivity for analytes of interest, so an increased range of compounds can be analysed. Switching between SFC and LC permits rapid screening for optimum separation conditions resulting in improved analytical efficiency. Existing Shimadzu (U)HPLC systems can be upgraded easily to build a Nexera UC/s, offering a full SFC/UHPLC setup while saving acquisition cost as well as lab space.

Liquid chromatographs are widely used in drug discovery, food safety analysis, environmental control and many other application areas. However, separation of components with identical physical and chemical properties, such as optical isomers, is challenging, and method development can take a very long time.

Supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) using a mobile phase having both liquid- and gas-like properties offers an interesting alternative in selectivity and separation behaviour. Especially for separation of chiral compounds, SFC has frequently been shown to be the method of choice. It can also generate up to 5 times the linear velocity of RP-LC, while reducing the amount of organic solvent consumption.

Each technique has its advantages, and superior separation results can quickly be obtained by screening with both SFC and (U)HPLC separation methods, using the same instrument to improve efficiency and increase productivity.

With Nexera UC/s, components that co-elute using LC can easily be re-tested using SFC. A hybrid system enables most efficient method screening using the two orthogonal techniques in one sequence.

Since the Nexera UC/s provides two separation modes on a single system, it requires less space than two dedicated systems and also reduces the initial purchase price. A newly-released kit to upgrade an existing Nexera UHPLC system to a Nexera UC/s further decreases the investment cost for the additional SFC system.

Using the dedicated Method Scouting Solution software, screening sequences using (U)HPLC or SFC separation methods are created automatically. The process of switching between SFC and (U)HPLC methodology can be accomplished easily in just a few minutes, providing stable results with excellent reproducibility even when switching between separation modes in one batch.

The Nexera UC, an analytical system using supercritical fluid, was co-developed with Osaka University, Miyazaki Agricultural Research Institute, and Kobe University in a project of the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Since its release in January 2015, it has been recognised worldwide as an innovative system. The Nexera UC is now widely used in government agencies, universities and environmental testing laboratories, in addition to pharmaceutical and food industries.

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