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Unraveling the Advantages of Core-Shell Columns in HPLC


Hello and welcome to the Pharma Growth Hub blog. I'm Bhaskar Napte, and today, we'll delve into the intriguing world of core-shell columns in High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). These columns have revolutionized the field of analytical chemistry, offering remarkable benefits. In this article, we'll explore what core-shell particles are, how they differ from traditional porous particles, their history, and the advantages they bring to analytical chemistry.

Understanding Core-Shell Technology:

Core-shell columns are manufactured using core-shell particles, a breakthrough in column design. Unlike traditional porous particles, these consist of a solid core at the center, surrounded by a porous silica layer. This unique structure is the key to their exceptional performance.

Advantages of Core-Shell Columns:

1. Faster Analysis

Core-shell columns dramatically reduce analysis time, leading to significant solvent savings. This is a boon for labs looking to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

2. Improved Peak Symmetry and Plate Count

The use of core-shell particles enhances peak symmetry and plate count, ultimately leading to better resolution in chromatographic separations.

3. Lower Back Pressure

These columns offer lower back pressure, allowing them to be used with HPLC systems requiring pressures ranging from 400 to 600 bar. This flexibility is invaluable for labs with various HPLC setups.

4. Enhanced Efficiency

Core-shell columns, particularly those with 5-micron particles, can match the efficiency of 3-micron fully porous particles. This means you can achieve Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) levels of efficiency with HPLC by using core-shell particles.

The Science Behind Core-Shell Efficiency:

To understand why core-shell columns are so efficient, let's consider the science. Traditional fully porous columns have varying particle sizes, leading to longer analyte interaction and broader peaks. In contrast, core-shell columns have consistent particle sizes and only offer active sites on the surface. This results in shorter analyte travel distance, minimized diffusion, and sharper peak shapes, all of which contribute to their superior performance.

Optimizing Your Core-Shell HPLC System:

To harness the full potential of core-shell columns, optimizing your HPLC system is crucial. Here are some tips

  • Minimize extra column volume by using a lower-volume injection loop and zero-volume finger-tight fittings.

  • Choose tubing with a smaller inner diameter (0.05 inch) to decrease extra column volume.

  • Opt for a lower volume UV flow cell or fluorescence detector cell.


Core-shell columns have transformed the world of HPLC, offering faster analyses, improved peak symmetry, lower back pressure, and enhanced efficiency. Their unique structure and optimized HPLC system integration make them a valuable asset for laboratories seeking to elevate their analytical capabilities.

Thank you for joining us in exploring the advantages of core-shell columns in HPLC. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this fascinating topic.

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