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  • Author or Editor: Bernd Spangenberg x
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High performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) is a frequently used separation technique which works well for quantification of caffeine and quinine in beverages. Competing separation techniques, e.g. high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or gas chromatography (GC), are not suitable for sugar-containing samples, because these methods need special pretreatment by the analyst. In HPTLC, however, it is possible to separate ‘dirty’ samples without time-consuming pretreatment, because disposable HPTLC plates are used. A convenient method for quantification of caffeine and quinine in beverages, without sample pretreatment, is presented below. The basic theory of in-situ quantification in HPTLC by use of remitted light is introduced and discussed. Several linearization models are discussed.A home-made diode-array scanner has been used for quantification; this, for the first time, enables simultaneous measurements at different wavelengths. The new scanner also enables fluorescence evaluation without further equipment. Simultaneous recording at different wavelengths improves the accuracy and reliability of HPTLC analysis. These aspects result in substantial improvement of in-situ quantitative densitometric analysis and enable quantification of compounds in beverages.

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A new diode-array scanner in combination with a computer-controlled application system meets all the demands of modern HPTLC measurement. Automatic application, simultaneous measurements at different wavelengths, and different linearization models enable appropriate evaluation of all analytical questions. The theory of error propagation recommends quantification at reflectance values smaller than 0.8; this can be verified only by use of diode-array scanning. The same theory also recommends quantification by use of peak height data, because the theory predicts best precision only for peak height evaluation. Diode-array scanning with reflectance monitoring enables appropriate validation in TLC and HPTLC analysis. All these aspects result in substantial improvement of in-situ quantitative densitometric analysis, and simultaneous recording at different wavelengths opens the way for chemometric evaluation, e.g. peak purity monitoring, which improves the accuracy and reliability of HPTLC analysis.

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In-situ densitometry for qualitative or quantitative purposes is a key step in thin-layer chromatography. It offers a simple way of quantifying by measuring the optical density of the separated spots directly on the plate. A new TLC scanner has been developed which is able to measure TLC plates or HPTLC plates, at different wavelengths simultaneously, without destroying the plate surface. The system enables absorbance and fluorescence measurements in one run. Fluorescence measurements are possible without filters or other adjustments.The measurement of fluorescence from a TLC plate is a versatile means of making TLC analysis more sensitive. Fluorescence measurements with the new scanner are possible without filters or special lamps. Improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio is achieved by wavelength bundling. During plate scanning the scattered light and the fluorescence are both emitted from the surface of the TLC plate and this emitted light provides the desired spectral information from substances on the TLC plate. The measurement of fluorescence spectra and absorbance spectra directly from a TLC plate is based on differential measurement of light emerging from sample-free and sample-containing zones.The literature recommends dipping TLC plates in viscous liquids to enhance fluorescence. Measurement of the fluorescence and absorbance spectra of pyrene spots reveals the mechanism of enhancement of plate dipping in viscous liquids — blocked contact of the fluorescent molecules with the stationary phase or other sample molecules is responsible for the enhanced fluorescence at lower concentrations.In conclusion, dipping in TLC analysis is no miracle. It is based on similar mechanisms observable in liquids. The measured TLC spectra are also very similar to liquid spectra and this makes TLC spectroscopy an important tool in separation analysis.

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We will present the first example of a two-dimensional scanned TLC-plate, measured by use of a diode-array scanner. A spatial resolution of 250 μm was achieved on plate. The system provides real 2D fluorescence and absorption spectra in the wavelength-range from 190 to 1000 nm with a spectral resolution of greater than 1 nm. A mixture of 12 sulphonamides was separated by using a cyanopropyl-coated silica gel plate (Merck, 1.16464) with the solvent mix of methyl tert-butyl ether-methanol-dichloromethane-cyclohexane-NH3 (25%) (48:2:2:1:1, v/v) in the first and with a mixture of water-acetonitrile-dioxane-ethanol (8:2:1:1, v/v) in the second direction. Both developments were carried out over a distance of 70 mm. A separation number (spot capacity) of 259 was calculated. We discussed a new formula for its calculation in 2D-TLC separations. The drawback of this method is that measuring a 2D-TLC plate needs more than 3 h measurement time.

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Thin-layer chromatography is a rapid and reliable working method for quantification of mycotoxins which is suitable for checking EC legislation aflatoxin limits for dried figs without an RP-18 pre-column cleaning step. We describe normal-phase chromatography on silica gel plates with 2.4:0.05:0.1:0.05 ( v/v ) methyl t -butyl ether-water-methanol-cyclohexane as mobile phase and reversed-phase chromatography on RP-18 plates with methanol-4% aqueous ZnSO 4 solution-ethyl methyl ketone 15:15:3 ( v/v ) as mobile phase. Sample pretreatment was by modified QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, Safe) extraction with tetrahydrofuran or acetone. NaCl was used as QuEChERS salt. Response was a linear function of amount chromatographed in the ranges 3 to 100 pg per zone for aflatoxins B 2 and G 2 , 10 to 350 pg per zone for the aflatoxins B 1 and G 1 , and 0.25 to 2.5 ng per zone for ochratoxin A. Quantification limits for the aflatoxins were between 13 and 35 pg per zone (equivalent to 1.5 and 2.4 ppb, taking the pre-treatment procedure into account). Ochratoxin A was detectable with a limit of quantification of 970 pg per zone, corresponding to 56 ppb in the sample. Normal phase and RP-18 separations work rapidly, reliably, and at low cost. They are also suitable for checking the content of the mycotoxins patulin, penicillic acid, zearalenone, and deoxynivalenol.

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We report improved separation of the highly toxic contact herbicides paraquat, diquat, difenzoquat, mepiquat, and chloromequat by HPTLC. Quantification was based on a new derivatization reaction using sodium tetraphenylborate. Measurements were in the wavelength range from 440 to 480 nm or from 440 to 590 nm. An LED emitting very intense light at 365 nm was used for excitation. The quantification limits of paraquat and diquat in water, using improved solid-phase extraction, was in the low ng L −1 range. The linear range covered more than two orders of magnitude. Recovery was investigated for all the compounds, and was insufficient, ranging from 11 to 92%, but the method is inexpensive, rapid, and works reliably.

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Diode-array planar chromatography is a versatile tool for identification of pharmaceutical substances In this paper thirty-three compounds with benzodiazepine properties were investigated and the separating conditions for silica gel HPTLC plates and three mobile phases were optimized. Diode-array HPTLC makes it possible to identify all the compounds with high certainty down to a level of 20 ng. An algorithm for spectral recognition which is combined with R F values from the three separation steps into one fit factor is presented. This set of data is unique for each of the compounds investigated and enables unequivocal identification. The method is rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive down to a level of 20 ng mL −1 .

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HPTLC on amino plates, with simple heating of the plates for derivatization, has been used for quantification of glucosamine in nutritional supplements. On heating the plate glucosamine reacts to form a compound which strongly absorbs light between 305 and 330 nm, with weak fluorescence. The reaction product can be detected sensitively either by absorption of light or by fluorescence detection. The detection limit in absorption mode is approximately 25 ng per spot. In fluorescence mode a detection limit of 15 ng is achievable. A calibration plot for absorption detection is linear in the range 25 to 4000 ng glucosamine. The derivative formed from glucosamine by heating is stable for months, and the relative standard deviation is 1.64% for 600 ng glucosamine. The amounts of glucosamine found in nutritional supplements were in agreement with the label declarations.

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Phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, are very important substances that occur in various medicinal plants. They show different pharmacological activities which might be useful in the therapy of many diseases. Phenolic compounds have achieved an increasing interest over the last years because these compounds are easily oxidized and, thus, act as strong antioxidants. We present the chemiluminescence of different phenolic compounds measured directly on high-performance thin-layer chromatography LiChrospher® plates using the oxalic acid derivative bis(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl) oxalate (TCPO) in conjunction with H2O2. Our results indicate that chemiluminescence intensity increases with an ascending number of phenolic groups in the molecule. The method can be used to detect phenolic compounds in beverages like coffee, tea, and wine.

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We present a two-dimensional (2D) planar chromatographic separation of estrogenic active compounds on RP-18 W (Merck, 1.14296) phase. A mixture of 8 substances was separated using a solvent mix consisting of hexane, ethyl acetate, acetone (55:15:10, v/v) in the first direction and of acetone and water (15:10, v/v) in the second direction. Separation was performed on an RP-18 W plate over a distance of 70 mm. This 2D-separation method can be used to quantify 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) in an effect-directed analysis, using the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae BJ3505. The test strain (according to McDonnell) contains the estrogen receptor. Its activation by estrogen active compounds is measured by inducing the reporter gene lacZ which encodes the enzyme β-galactosidase. This enzyme activity is determined on plate by using the fluorescent substrate MUG (4-methylumbelliferyl-β-d-galactopyranoside).

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