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Pushing the limits of resolving power and analysis time in on-line comprehensive hydrophilic interaction x reversed phase liquid chromatography for the analysis of complex peptide samples.

  • Chapel, Soraya1
  • Rouvière, Florent1
  • Heinisch, Sabine2
  • 1 Université de Lyon, Institut des Sciences Analytiques, UMR 5280, CNRS, ENS Lyon, 5 rue de la Doua, Villeurbanne 69100, France. , (France)
  • 2 Université de Lyon, Institut des Sciences Analytiques, UMR 5280, CNRS, ENS Lyon, 5 rue de la Doua, Villeurbanne 69100, France. Electronic address: [email protected] , (France)
Published Article
Journal of chromatography. A
Publication Date
Nov 29, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2019.460753
PMID: 31810621


In the present work, we have investigated the combination of hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) and reversed phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) for the separation of peptides in on-line HILIC x RPLC. This combination usually leads to significant solvent strength mismatch, since a weak solvent in HILIC becomes a strong solvent in RPLC. This may result in band broadening, peak distortion, and breakthrough phenomena. Our focus was directed towards the reduction of band broadening and peak distortion. The conditions of the emergence of breakthrough could be investigated with high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) detection. The importance of both the injection volume and the difference in composition between injection and elution solvents was highlighted. Reported strategies to avoid bad peak shapes mostly rely either on flow splitting to limit the injection volume, or on on-line dilution. Here, we propose an alternative approach which consists in injecting large volumes in the second dimension. In this case, no flow-splitting nor dilution prior to the second dimension is required. Our results show that above a certain critical injected volume, depending on both the compound and the elution conditions, narrow and symmetrical peaks can be obtained, despite the persistence of breakthrough. As a result, the injected volume in the second dimension must be larger than the largest critical volume. This counter-intuitive approach was applied for the on-line HILIC x RPLC-UV-HRMS analysis of a complex tryptic digest sample. A peak capacity close to 1500 could be achieved in 30 min, which is two-fold higher than in RPLC x RPLC within the same analysis time. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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