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AS189: PrepAhead – How to Master Your Time with GERSTEL Maestro Software

Martin Perkins

24th January 2018


AS189: PrepAhead – How to Master Your Time with GERSTEL Maestro Software

GERSTEL’s Maestro PrepAhead function is an extremely useful feature, which allows the sample preparation for each sample to be carried out immediately preceding the instrumental analysis (either GC or LC) whilst the previous sample is being analysed by the instrument.

In many analytical workflows, sample preparation is often the most time consuming step. Also workflows using techniques such as Dynamic Headspace (DHS) or Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME), where the sample preparation is automated by default within the GC-MS analysis and usually not particularly lengthy, can add significant time when high throughput is required. As a rule of thumb, good time management is driven by the capability of multitask and that is exactly what the PrepAhead function within MAESTRO software does.

Using the MAESTRO software PrepAhead function, sample preparation steps are performed during analysis of the preceding sample for best possible system utilization and highest sample throughput. This approach not only eliminates downtime but it also guarantees samples to be freshly prepared just before analysis limiting biases introduced by potential degradation over time of the target analytes (e.g. TMS derivatives in GC-MS analysis or photosensitive compounds).

This not only offers a very time-effective option which eliminates significant operator downtime, but one which also ensures samples will be freshly prepared every time before analysis. This reduces the risks of degradation and artefacts as far as possible.

This Anatune application note offered three examples of customer applications developed in our demo laboratory where the use of PrepAhead reduced considerably the total batch duration (in some cases up to 60%).

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