STTR Phase I: Development of Modular Selectivity High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography Bonded Phases

Period of Performance: 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2016

$225K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Peak Diagnostics, LLC
140 Chester Dr
Pine Grove Mills, PA 16868
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is aimed at the development of improved instrumentation for analytical chemistry, via the production of novel and improved phases for high-pressure and ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC/UHPLC). This effort will develop a synthetic route to diverse surface chemistries built on an underlying phase based on known polymer chemistry which is stable and easy to further functionalize. The resultant chemistries will provide a new series of HPLC products, in the form of columns and solid phase extraction (SPE) devices, exhibiting separation selectivities which are significantly different from commercially available products. These new phases will also feature high selectivity for hydrophilic analytes, and chiral and geometric isomer selectivity. This technology will provide greater power to achieve difficult separations with the added possibility of customizable phases. The envisioned new phases are expected to have immediate applicability in the areas of metabolomics and pharmaceutical applications. The proposed research will aid other market sectors utilizing HPLC/UHPLC separations including environmental, clinical and forensic analysis. The HPLC consumables industry is estimated to reach $3.7 billion in 2015. The intellectual merit of this project involves the use of proven polymer technology applied to an alternate field. The polymer technology bonded to a silica surface offers a template upon which a large variety of organic moieties may be "snapped" into the polymer-type network to yield the final products. Applying this technology to chromatographic phases presents a tremendous opportunity to enhance the field by providing truly new and unique HPLC phases including reversed phase, hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC), chiral and macromolecule phases. Application areas are many and can be easily scalable from analytical to preparative work if desired. The simplicity of the chemistry coupled with the low cost of raw materials will provide a diverse product set at relatively low price. In this Phase I work, three prototype phase types (alkyl, aryl, and chiral) will be developed and refined. Uniqueness of selectivity will be demonstrated using diverse sets of model pharmaceutical analytes. Metabolomics applications will also be evaluated. This work will demonstrate phase robustness and column performance to be equivalent to or better than similar commercially available HPLC products. The anticipation is that quality HPLC column technology will result offering robust reproducible products with dramatically altered selectivity.