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Feb 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 3)

Epigenetics Offers Strategies for New Drugs

Recent Elucidation of Role in a Myriad of Diseases Has Ignited Interest in Field

  • Sidebar: Waters Features Newest UPLC System Globally

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    The Acquity H-Class

    Last week Waters began the worldwide introduction of the latest offering in its ultraperformance liquid chromatography product line. The addition of the Acquity UPLC® H Class system to its UPLC product line is designed to allow scientists to run their existing HPLC methods on an advanced platform (UPLC) that was first introduced at Pittcon in 2004.

    The instrument permits chromatographers to work at higher efficiencies with a much wider range of linear velocities, flow rates, and backpressures, according to Art Caputo, president of Waters.

    “Our goal is to convert the marketplace from an HPLC mentality to a UPLC way of thinking,” says Caputo. “We expect to supersede HPLC with UPLC,” he reports, noting that Waters’ UPLC systems require up to 95% less solvent and use less bench space and energy.

    The H-Class system consists of the quaternary solvent manager, flow-through-needle sample manager, column heater, and a choice of detectors, including a photodiode array detector. Targeted users include scientists who perform a host of methods-development tasks.

    Jeff Mazzeo, Ph.D., director of Waters’ biopharmaceutical operations, tells GEN that one current application focus of the new UPLC system is the characterization of biomolecules, especially peptide mapping, glycan analysis, and intact protein analysis.

    “Our customers will get all of the enhanced resolution and sensitivity characteristic of UPLC with the convenient adjustment of mobile-phase composition that they have on their quaternary HPLC systems,” adds Thomas Wheat, Ph.D., principal scientist at Waters. “I think that people will also use it for routine assays by programming the system to blend concentrated buffers, water, and pure solvents on demand. By reducing solvent preparation, they, of course, lessen the workload, but they also cut down on the number of measurements that might be done erroneously.”

  • Four-Solvent Blending

    Dr. Wheat says the H-Class system lets him have “true UPLC performance on an instrument with the flexibility that I prefer in an HPLC system,” adding that it is “far easier to develop or to adjust methods when using the four-solvent blending.”

    With the flow-through-needle injector design, he reports that he does not have to worry as much about distortion of sample composition and carryover as he does with transfer needles and fixed-loop injectors.

    “I also like the active preheater because I can reliably adjust temperatures by a couple of degrees and know that I will be able to duplicate that setting on another day or on another instrument,” he points out.

    As a chemist, Dr. Wheat says he much prefers a system that incorporates automated solvent-blending capabilities and that he has used some variation of this strategy since he received his first HPLC system for peptide mapping.

    “I rely on Auto-Blend™ for all scales of analytical and preparative chromatography. I use it for all kinds of reversed-phase separations and, as I learn how, I will employ it extensively for ion-exchange,” he explains. “I take advantage of Auto-Blend for small molecule analysis as well as for biopharmaceuticals. When I first got a UPLC system five or six years ago, the improvement in resolution and sensitivity, because of decreased dispersion, was exciting. But now the Auto-Blend functions and active preheater let me fully explore separation selectivity with UPLC minimized band-broadening.”

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