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Malverns’ New OMNISEC GPC/SEC System

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The sensitivity of Malvern Instruments’ new OMNISEC gel permeation chromatography/size exclusion chromatography system generated significant excitement from scientists meeting at the Seventh International Symposium on the Separation and Characterization of Natural and Synthetic Macromolecules (SCM-7), when the system made a well-received debut late in January.

“Delegates were particularly enthusiastic about OMNISEC’s sensitivity,” said Paul Clarke, Industrial Portfolio Manager at Malvern Instruments. “Announcing ‘the most sensitive light scattering detector on the market’ is one thing but seeing what that actually means in practice is another. Demonstrations of the system measuring the molecular weight (MW) of a 100,000 Da Polystyrene standard with just a 100 ng of sample made a big impression and showed clearly how the light scattering detector could deliver real value in routine testing.”

GPC/SEC is primarily used to measure the MW, MW distribution and structural characteristics of proteins, polymers and other macromolecules. OMNISEC REVEAL, the detector module of the new system, includes refractive index, light scattering and viscometer detectors to maximize the informational productivity of each GPC/SEC analysis.

The light scattering detector measures absolute MW down to around 200 Da, with no requirement for calibration. These data can be used in combination with viscosity parameters generated by the viscometer to quantify structural characteristics such as extent of branching.

“The self-balancing feature of the viscometer was also a major talking point,” continued Paul Clarke. “And again this goes back to sensitivity. Self-balancing ahead of every measurement results in more accurate viscosity data which in turn enables the more secure and sensitive characterization of the structural characteristics of a sample.”

Ease of use features also proved to be a highlight. The new system offers precise temperature control from autosampling through detection, to protect sensitive materials such as proteins throughout the analysis, and enable efficient measurement with more viscous solvents. Users also appreciated the self-priming pump and user-exchangeable viscometer capillary module which significantly improve ease of use.

“Our aim with OMNISEC was to introduce a new system that answers closely to evolving requirements for GPC/SEC,” said Paul Clarke. “It is very encouraging to receive early feedback that suggests that the new system will make a major contribution to the value of the technique for macromolecular researchers - whether by providing more informative data, or by easing the burden of routine analysis.”