Thursday, August 14, 2014
Increase your throughput with parallel LC
I'm still at this awesome LC bootcamp. Yesterday the instructors threw out this idea that has never ever occurred to me. If you have a dual pump system with enough valves, you can set up parallel LC. Dionex actually just sells a kit for this. The gist of the method is that while your peptides are eluting, the second sample is loaded onto a second trapping column and washed. When you get past the point in your gradient where you are just washing crap off your column and re-equilibrating you switch valves and then go right into the elution of the next set of peptides! You could be really ruthless with this and shave a ton of time off of each run or more conservative and still shave a lot of time!
In the example we were looking at we were able to shave off 30 minutes of trapping, desalting and equilibrating time from each sample injected. Imagine a semi-complex sample that you run with a 140 peptide elution time and you are talking about close to 6 hours of extra run time that you are squeezing in a day. (Assuming ~12 samples per day and 30 minutes each). Thats 2-3 extra runs per day!
Looking at the schematic makes this seem reasonably simple for any LC that has 2 switching valves and separate loading pumps. Might be a great solution for any of you guys who are juts getting buried under your sample queue!