Tight budgets and time constraints often lead to simple oversights in the lab, impacting the quality of your analyses. Many chromatography challenges can be traced back to human error, poor maintenance, or a lack of proper training. Here are a few tips on good laboratory practices to consider for more accurate testing results:
Tip 1: Improve Precision and Accuracy by Using Internal Standards
When used consistently, and in conjunction with calibration standards, Internal Standards (IS) can be an invaluable tool. They help gauge matrix effects, identify signal drift, and correct for the loss of analytes during sample preparation. For the analysis of organic compounds, the ideal internal standard is an isotopically-labeled reference material. Stable Isotope reference materials are nearly identical to their analogues in all respects, except for their mass. Typically, a “heavy” hydrogen or carbon isotope gives these compounds their weight. In sample preparation, they physically/chemically react the same way as their analogue; however, they can be distinguished by using mass spectrometry. Therefore, by spiking the sample material with a known amount of a stable isotope reference material, analyte loss can be determined and compensated for.
That being said, consider maintaining a supply of these Stable Isotope Standards, and adding them to every run:
Tip 2: Algal growth or even slight changes in pH will affect analyses. Make sure to clean your mobile phase bottles and filters often.
- Start fresh with a new mobile phase bottle kit.
- Use a solvent filter to extend the life of your columns and pump seals.
- Label your media bottles when switching up your mobile phase, so you don’t forget when it was last changed.
- Always check your media bottles for signs of algal growth, or use amber media storage bottles to help prevent its formation.
Mobile Phase Bottle Kit
(2L bottle, 2 spargers, 3-port cap, and tubing)
Tip 3: Avoid measurement errors during mobile phase preparation
Are you using the right glassware? Use Class A Certified Volumetric Flasks and Graduated Cylinders to ensure your measurements are accurate. (Bonus tip: Not great at remembering where all of those certificates are stored? We have QR-coded volumetric flasks for you that will make future audits a breeze.)
Additionally, it’s safe to say we all make mistakes. Avoid human error, save time, and increase throughput by using pre-mixed mobile phases.
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Tip 4: Cannabis and hemp are dirty matrices. Keep your chromatography instrumentation running in optimal condition by practicing regular maintenance.
Lastly, preventative maintenance not only improves the quality of your analyses, but it protects one of your laboratory’s biggest investments: your instrumentation. Skipping routine maintenance can lead to unplanned shutdowns, and costly repairs. Don’t get caught wishing you had checked on that filter sooner! With this in mind, we offer a vast array of preventative and maintenance products as well as replacement parts. Browse our assortment today and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.
Pictured: Survival Kit for HPLC, PEEK
Pictured: Leak Detector and ProFLOW 6000 Flowmeter