5 Best reverse phase HPLC C18 columns

5 Best ever HPLC columns for pharmaceutical analysis
Best ever HPLC columns for pharmaceutical analysis

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has replaced several Spectroscopic methods which were previously used for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of pharmaceutical and other chemical substances. Reverse phase HPLC columns are commonly used nowadays. Therefore separation of chemical substances and bio-molecules from a heterogeneous mixture can be done more easily, with the help of the reverse phase HPLC system than the previously known techniques.

As we know that typical HPLC systems are composed of mobile phase reservoir, pump, autosampler, column oven and detector. All these components are fixed in any HPLC systems and cannot be changed. There is a part in the HPLC system which can be changed as per the nature of a compound/s to be analyzed and ie the column.

This part (column) of the HPLC is available in different varieties and grades. The column can differ in length, diameter, packing material, pore size and polarity.

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The HPLC columns are packed with the help of silica or carbon which is also called a stationary phase. The C18 columns are more polar than the C8 columns.   The more polar column is to be used if the analyte is more polar in nature and vice versa.

In case of the high polarity of the analyte and the column, we use a more polar solvent (like water) in a mobile phase in addition to the organic phase. In such a case, the analyte will retain in the column and the water will try to elute it due to which separation of a compound occurs.

You can get best results had you selected the right column. The analysis shall not be started blindly in any case. Before going to start an analytical procedure you should know about the nature of the compound to be separated and the type of column needed for this purpose. In the case of analysis of peptides, C18 work very well.

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List of 5 best reverse phase HPLC columns for analysis

S. NO Column Specifications Made by
1 Kromasil 5 OSD (C-18) 250 mm × 3.20 mm, 5 µm Phenomenex, California, USA
2 Discovery HS

C 18 column

250 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 µm


15 cm × 4.6 mm, 5 µm


Sigma, Germany
3 Hibar® 250-4.6, Purospher® STAR, RP- C 18 250 mm × 3 mm, 5 µm Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
4 SUPELCOSILTM LC-CN, C 18 250 mm, × 4.6 mm, 5 µm Supelco Analytical, Merck, Germany
5 Athena C18-WP, 100 A 4.6 mm × 150 mm, 5 µm CNW technologies

The above-mentioned columns are used in many official (BP and USP) methods and are mentioned by thousands of scientists in their research articles.

5 Best ever HPLC columns for pharmaceutical analysis
Column fitted in the Oven of an HPLC system

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The ideal properties of Best HPLC columns include

  • Less expensive
  • Able to reproduce the results
  • Produce a clear baseline in the shortest possible time immediately after starting the HPLC system for analysis.
  • Its stationary phase should resist the deteriorating effect of acidic mobile phase
  • Must produce sharp and clear peaks of the analyte/s.
  • Easily conditioned with different mobile phases
  • Must have more theoretical plates. Furthermore, in an ideal situation, the number of theoretical plates must not be more than 2000
  • Have better column efficiency
  • Not to be chocked easily after analyzing the blood samples
  • The resolution between two peaks shall be more than 1.5 seconds
  • Retention factor of a column should be more than 2 seconds
  • Taling factor should be equal to or less than 2 seconds
  • The columns have low plate height will produce narrow peaks with better separation. As the number of theoretical plates in a column increase, the plate height will decrease and we will better results.

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  • A column should never be washed with an organic solvent if the buffer is used in a mobile phase. Because the column will be blocked completely and will be of no use. Furthermore, the HPLC tubing can also be blocked which may subsequently lead to the replacement of the tubing.

•    Finally, due to the above-mentioned reasons, the Column shall only be washed with water (for 24 hrs) in case              buffer is used as one of the mobile phases.


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