HPLC analysis involves the use of expensive mobile phase solvents and recurring costs on consumables such as columns, sample and solvent filters, vials, glassware, etc.
The costs involved in HPLC operation can be grouped in terms of laboratory throughput and operational costs. The objective of this article is to offer some useful tips to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of results.
Time saved means money saved
Time-saving is the essence of high laboratory throughput which translates to saving of money. At the end of the day, timely completion of activities additionally gives you greater confidence and work satisfaction.
- Keep required glassware ready in advance as per the planned analysis schedule.
- Ensure availability of HPLC solvents and standards for the planned analysis.
- Ensure leak-free connections to avoid termination of runs.
- Adopt automated injection systems when a large number of samples are to be analyzed. Automated systems further reduce personal errors.
- Use only calibrated and validated instruments and methods to avoid the need for repeat analysis.
- Keep a stock of essential recommended spares to prevent time-consuming breakdowns. Users should be made aware of preventive maintenance and troubleshooting guidelines.
- Columns required for the HPLC analysis should be kept ready in advance after required conditioning and washing cycles.
- Mobile phase solvents are the major cost contributors in HPLC analysis. Analysis of the samples requiring the use of same mobile phase and column should be grouped together as far as possible.
- Consumables such as sample and mobile solvent filters should be discarded after use. Do not attempt to save cost by reusing filters.
- Vials for sample collection can be reused only after washing and drying as per prescribed procedures.
- Lower the mobile phase flow rate to the minimum in between analysis.
- In case HPLC columns are to be used after a long interval wash with wash solvents followed by storage solvent with end caps fixed. This will ensure that the columns will operate under required separation efficiencies and save cost on frequent column replacements
- Check HPLC column performance in between analysis using injections of standards.
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