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October 22, 2018

Stop hoping for an OK resin bed—start looking into your HPLC column

By Pia Liljedahl, Product manager, GE Healthcare Life Sciences

Unless you have X-ray vision, it’s pretty hard to inspect your chromatography resin bed in a stainless steel HPLC column. Here’s how transparent columns can improve the performance of your analytical size exclusion chromatography (SEC) run.

What’s on the inside matters

When using and reusing a chromatography column, over time, some resin defects might occur. Some examples of defects are gaps, cracks, dryness, and discoloration of the resin. All of these chromatography resin issues can have a negative impact on the performance of your analytical SEC run.

Compressed bed

Air in the column

See what goes on inside your column

To prevent defects like the ones mentioned, it’s very important to inspect the packed resin bed visually before and after use. A visual inspection is of course impossible with the stainless steel columns commonly used in HPLC.

Transparent glass columns, on the other hand, make it easy to inspect the packed bed. As chromatography resin issues can be clearly seen through the glass, you can easily act on and fix the problem. That way you avoid the negative impacts the defects would have had on the performance.

Protected, even when broken

But what if the column is exposed to too high pressures and the glass breaks? Or if it slips through your fingers and falls on the floor? For protection, GE’s glass columns are coated with a thin plastic film. So, even if the HPLC column accidentally breaks, the film keeps the glass in place.

For more insights on analytical SEC fundamentals, check out this SEC white paper.

Transparent glass HPLC column for analytical SEC