Automating Sample Filtration for UHPLC

Martin Perkins

24th September 2015

Automation, LC-MS, Liquid Chromatography, MPS, MultiPurpose Sampler, Ray Perkins, Sample Filtration, Sean O'Connor, UHPLC,

Ultra High Pressure Liquid Chromatography is a popular and powerful analytical technique, however, if your samples contain solid particles, these will often create problems due to the particles blocking the very narrow bore plumbing involved.

If you are running only a few samples of this kind, then you can probably live with the inconvenience. You can either filter the samples by hand prior to analysis, or simply accept the fact that you will need to do a certain amount of regular maintenance to keep the instrument running.

On the other hand, the more cruddy samples you have to run, the bigger a problem this will become. If you have to run, say, 50 samples per day and the UHPLC tubing blocks every fifth sample or so, then someone is going to spend most of their time either filtering samples or wielding spanners and you will only be able to utilise your expensive LC-MS when you have staff available to look after the instrument.

In the real World this happens. We know because we get asked by customers to solve problems of this ilk.

On a cost/benefit basis, automating these simple, repetitive tasks can be a compelling proposition.  All the more so, if it proves possible to automate other parts of your sample handling method (the addition of standards for example).

In principle, it is relatively simple for us to assemble and program a GERSTEL MPS robot to filter samples and make them fit for running on a UHPLC system, however, no two customers have exactly the same samples and the details of exactly how we go about this will matter.

Fortunately, we have a large range of automated sample prep tools to hand, including a useful range of sample filtration options that work in several different ways.  This can be as simple as automating filtration using your own luer lock filters, or as the sample sizes required for UHPLC are smaller than HPLC, we can reduce the sample and filter sizes with (Instrument Top Sample Preparation) ITSP to give the same level of filtration.

There aren’t many sample filtration issues that we can’t tackle.

We will shortly be setting up to tackle some filtration applications, so if you have a problem with particulate material in your samples, we could easily see what we can do to solve it for you.

Call us on +44 (0)1223 279210 or email