troubleshooting Electrochemical Detection (ECD)I came across two technical notes on troubleshooting Electrochemical Detection (ECD) problems, featured in this blog post, while reading up on a recently released HPLC application that used this type of detection. And, soon after, I found a poster note on the topic and thought this would make for a useful read for those working in HPLC-ECD applications. For those new to this type of detection, ED is the most sensitive and selective mode of LC detection for the measurement of oxidizable or reducible compounds.

Image is of the Cytochrome p450 liver enzyme which plays an important role in drug detoxification in the human body.

Technical Note 100, Loss of Response, (downloadable PDF), provides troubleshooting tips and tricks if you are seeing a loss of response in an HPLC-ECD system. This is typically perceived as a dysfunction with the detector but the cause is more likely to be issues with other components in the HPLC system, the analytical chemistry being used, or analyte integrity. The technical note provides a detailed check list of what you need to check for problems, such as the autosampler, fluidics, column, cell, and more.

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Technical Note 99, Background Currents and Baseline Noise, (downloadable PDF), describes how to troubleshoot background currents and baseline noise and provides details on the factors that can impact background currents.

Poster Note, Extending the Usefulness of HPLC with Electrochemical Detection, (downloadable PDF), describes the followings approaches that can be used to extend the usefulness of HPLC-ECD to a wider variety of analytes:

  • Pre-column derivatization with an application to amino acid analysis
  • Use of immobilized enzymes to indirectly measure electrochemically inert species with an application measuring acetylcholine in microdialysis perfusates
  • Use of on-line pre-electrode high-energy photolysis to generate transiently electrochemically active species from inert compounds in a global method for the measurement of explosive residues
  • Use of novel working electrodes that can render inert compounds electrochemically active through electrotagging and describes the use of a boron-doped diamond (BDD) working electrode to measure genotoxins, thiols/disulfides, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons

Additional Resources

  • Our recently released Chromatography Solution Online Center features many useful and complimentary chromatography tools which can help speed up your analysis. The site is updated on a monthly basis; therefore, do check out the Archives section to see what was previously featured.

Let us know if you have any questions on ECD troubleshooting in the Comments box below. We look forward to hearing from you.