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Some experience of chromatographic column maintenance

The correct use and maintenance of chromatographic column is very important. A little carelessness will reduce column efficiency, shorten service life and even damage. During chromatographic operation, the following problems need to be paid attention to in order to maintain the chromatographic column.
Adjust the flow too fast
Avoid sharp changes in pressure and temperature and any mechanical vibration. The sudden change of temperature or drop of chromatographic column from a high place will affect the filling condition in the column; the sudden rise or fall of column pressure will also impulse the packing in the column, so it should be carried out slowly when adjusting the flow rate, and the rotation of the valve should not be too slow during the valve injection (as mentioned above).
Recoil column
Generally speaking, the column cannot be recoiled. Only when the producer indicates that the column can be recoiled can the impurities left in the column head be removed. Otherwise, the recoil will reduce the column efficiency rapidly.
Pre column and protection column
Choose suitable mobile phase (especially pH) to avoid the destruction of stationary phase. Sometimes a precolumn can be connected in front of the injector. When the analytical column is bonded silica gel, the precolumn is silica gel, which can make the mobile phase "saturated" by silica gel before entering the analytical column, so as to avoid the dissolution of silica gel matrix in the analytical column.
In order to avoid injecting complex matrix samples, especially biological samples directly into the column, it is necessary to pretreat the samples or connect a protective column between the injector and the chromatographic column. The protective column is usually a short column filled with similar fixed phase. The protection post can and should be replaced frequently.
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