Application of column chromatography in pharmacy
Chromatography is a process used to separate mixtures.
The word chromatography is derived from the Greek words "khroma" and "graphein"
meaning "color" and "to write" or "to represent".
The chromatography technique is first discovered by Russian Biologists, Dr. Michael
Tswett in 1906 for the separation of colored plant pigment on a column of alumina.
Now-a-days various types of chromatography are used to separate almost any
given mixture whether colored or colorless into its component.
Chromatography may be regarded as an analytical technique employed for
the purification and separation of organic and inorganic substances.
It is also found useful for the fractionation of complex mixture, separation of closely
related compounds, such as isomers and in the isolation of unstable substances.
Applications of Chromatography:
Chromatographic methods will separate ionic species, inorganic or organic, and
molecular species ranging in size from the lightest and smallest, helium and hydrogen,
to particulate matter such as single cells.
Chromatography will separate several hundreds of components of unknown identity
and unknown concentrations, leaving the components unchanged.
Amounts in the picogram or parts per billion ranges can be detected with some
General uses of chromatography in our real life are:
Pharmaceutical Company – determine amount of each chemical found in new product.
Hospital – detect blood or alcohol levels in a patient’s blood stream.
Law Enforcement – to compare a sample found at a crime scene to samples from
Environmental Agency – determine the level of pollutants in the water supply.
Manufacturing Plant – to purify a chemical needed to make a product.
Biotechnology industry – establishing the purity or concentration of compounds
in biotechnological research.
Biological application – Chromatography has many applications in biology. It is used to
separate and identify amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and other natural
substances. Environmental testing laboratories use chromatography to identify trace
quantities of contaminants such as PCBs in waste oil and pesticides such as DDT in
groundwater. It is also used to test drinking water and test air quality. Pharmaceutical
companies use chromatography to prepare quantities of extremely pure materials. The
food industry uses chromatography to detect contaminants such as aflatoxin.
Application of Column Chromatography:
Analytical uses: For analytical purposes, column chromatography finds limited
applications. Vestergaard and Sayegh could separate seven urinary steroids within 5
hours which requires 36 hours on a normal column. They have used narrow Teflon
tubing packed with aluminum oxide or silica gel.
Separation of geometrical isomers: The separation of cis/trans isomer is based on the
steric factors. Isomers whose functional groups can approach the surface of the
adsorbent more easily are more strongly adsorbed.
Separation of Diastereomers.
Separation of tautomeric mixtures.
Separation of racemates
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Application of column chromatography in pharmacy