hplcThe 48th International Symposium on High-Performance Liquid Phase Separation and Related Techniques, or HPLC 2019, concluded yesterday in Milan. It was a fascinating five days in the Italian sunshine, but for those that couldn’t attend, I’ll give you a short review of the major themes and activities that took place as well as some of the initiatives held by Thermo Fisher Scientific – more of which can be viewed at www.thermofisher.com/hplc2019.

Over the course of five days, there were more than 300 oral presentations and 500 poster communications. Added to the Sunday short courses, gala dinner, HPLC Slam and HPLC Tube contests (more on that later…) and lunchtime seminars, then it was a busy time for all. I couldn’t attend everything, so I had to recruit some of my colleagues for feedback to help complete this article.

The general theme of the oral presentations are that researchers are developing and optimising liquid chromatography separations to make them more efficient and reproducible and expanding the range of applications it can be used in. Some of the highlights for me that fit with this theme included:

  • Coupling of liquid chromatography to high-resolution accurate mass spectrometry for the analysis of biopharmaceuticals. There were numerous presentations that talked about this topic, including presentations from Dan Bach Christian (Symphogen), Jonathan Bones (NIBRT) and Ken Cook (Thermo Fisher Scientific). What is particularly interesting is how these scientists are experimenting with different eluents that are mass spectrometry compatible and sample throughput to increase productivity. Ken Cook’s presentation can be downloaded here.
  • Pharmaceutical applications of ion chromatography-mass spectrometry (IC-MS). This talk by Bethany Jackson (Astra Zeneca) was an excellent overview of how ion chromatography is now being coupled to mass spectrometry and the applications this hyphenation can deliver. We hear a lot about LC-MS, so it is great to hear about the expanding field of LC-MS.
  • Mauro de Pra from Thermo Fisher Scientific gave a very well received talk on the topic of ‘Effects of metal contamination caused by iron-hplc-1free HPLC systems on peak shape and retention of drugs with chelating properties’ which showed how titanium can leak from biocompatible HPLC systems and affect peak shape.As you would expect, there was a wide range of posters covering a broad range of topics. I will just highlight a couple of posters on the topic of charged aerosol detection (CAD) that were presented by my colleagues Carsten Paul and Mirko Pietsch. These looked at the factors affection uniform response and transfer of compendial, including USB, methods respectively. Both posters can be requested at www.thermofisher.com/hplc2019.

A particular highlight of HPLC 2019 was the inaugural HPLC Tube contest. To enter, scientists we asked to produce as short video on the topic of how their chromatography is making a difference to the world. Twenty-three entries were narrowed down to a final ten by an international panel of experts for the final round which occurred on Wednesday. Here the ten finalist videos were shown, followed by an apero for the finalists. During the gala dinner later that evening, all ten finalist videos were shown and the winner announced – congratulations to Simone Dimartino from the University of Edinburgh for his winning video ‘HPLC in Modern Times.’ To view the winning and all the other finalist videos, please click here.

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Finally, Thermo Fisher Scientific offered two lunchtime seminars at HPLC 2019; On Tuesday, Carsten Paul (Thermo Fisher Scientific) and Gunda Koellensperger (University of Vienna) presented ‘Revolutionizing Chromatography with the Vanquish UHPLC System’ which included a fascinating look at how to run metabolomics and lipidomics in parallel using the Thermo Scientific™ Vanquish™ Duo UHPLC system. Then on Wednesday, James Grinias (Rowan University) and Whitney Shatz (Genetech) discussed ‘Increasing Method Throughput with Ultra-High Pressure Chromatography’ and how to achieve a 10-20 fold improvement in throughput. Both seminar slides can be requested from www.thermofisher.com/hplc2019.

At the Thermo Fisher Scientific booth, we showcased and demonstrated a number of liquid and ion chromatography solutions including Thermo Scientific™ Chromeleon™ CDS Software version 7.2.10, the complete portfolio of Vanquish UHPLC systems and the new range of preparative liquid chromatography columns that were launched at the show.

After a frenetic five days, I’m now back in the UK and missing the Milan weather already. Next stop for the International Symposium on High-Performance Liquid Phase Separation and Related Techniques is Kyoto (1-5 December 2019) and then San Diego (20-25 June 2020). HPLC comes to Europe again in 2021 when it will take place in Düsseldorf (20-24 June 2021). I’ll likely see you there.

Additional Resources

  • You can view the activities of Thermo Fisher Scientific at HPLC 2019 and also request copies of all the scientific presentations from thermofisher.com/hplc2019.
  • To learn more about chromatography solutions from Thermo Fisher Scientific, please visit thermofisher.com/chromatography.