Characterization of some physical and chromatographic properties of monolithic poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) columns

Oberacher,H.; Premstaller,A.; Huber,C.G.
Monolithic capillary columns were prepared by copolymerization of styrene and divinylbenzene inside a 200 microm i.d. fused silica capillary using a mixture of tetrahydrofuran and decanol as porogen. Important chromatographic features of the synthesized columns were characterized and critically compared to the properties of columns packed with micropellicular, octadecylated poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) (PS-DVB-C18) particles. The permeability of a 60 mm long monolithic column was slightly higher than that of an equally dimensioned column packed with PS-DVB-C18 beads and was invariant up to at least 250 bar column inlet pressure, indicating the high-pressure stability of the monolithic columns. Interestingly, monolithic columns showed a 3.6 times better separation efficiency for oligonucleotides than granular columns. To study differences of the molecular diffusion processes between granular and monolithic columns, Van Deemter plots were measured. Due to the favorable pore structure of monolithic columns all kind of diffusional band broadening was reduced two to five times. Using inverse size-exclusion chromatography a total porosity of 70% was determined, which consisted of internodule porosity (20%) and internal porosity (50%). The observed fast mass transfer and the resulting high separation efficiency suggested that the surface of the monolithic stationary phase is rather rough and does not feature real pores accessible to macromolecular analytes such as polypeptides or oligonucleotides. The maximum analytical loading capacity of monolithic columns for oligonucleotides was found to be in the region of 500 fmol, which compared well to the loading capacity of the granular columns. Batch-to-batch reproducibility proved to be better with granular stationary phases compared to monolithic stationary phase, in which each column bed is the result of a unique column preparation process
J Chromatogr.A 2004 1030(1-2):201-208
Tags: Austria; CAPILLARY COLUMNS; chemistry; Oligonucleotides; pressure
PubMed: 15043270
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