As in basketball, track, and sneaker commercials, speed counts in HPLC analysis. Fast liquid chromatography (FLC) takes advantage of smaller particle size or reduced pore volume to achieve faster performance.

Perkin-Elmer's Fast LC columns are packed with 3-mm particles, resulting in shorter equilibration times and lower solvent usage. The columns can enhance productivity two to five times over that afforded by conventional 15-cm HPLC columns packed with 5-mm particles, the company says.

MICRA Scientific Inc. of Northbrook, Ill., has developed a manufacturing process that eliminates pores in the silica and prepares very pure, highly uniform 1.5-mm non-porous silica (NPS) microspheres. NPS columns speed up the analysis of analytes and minimize the diffusion that interferes with separation.

"You get much higher productivity because run times are three to 60 times shorter than with porous columns, and this frees up your instrument for additional analysis," says Theresa Dawson, marketing specialist at MICRA....

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