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J Chromatogr A. 2006 Oct 27;1131(1-2):130-41. Epub 2006 Sep 11.

Comparison of retention models for polymers 1. Poly(ethylene glycol)s.

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  • 1Deutsches Kunststoff-Institut, German Institute for Polymers, Schlossgartenstr. 6, D-64289 Darmstadt, Germany.


The suitability of three different retention models to predict the retention times of poly(ethylene glycol)s (PEGs) in gradient and isocratic chromatography was investigated. The models investigated were the linear (LSSM) and the quadratic solvent strength model (QSSM). In addition, a model describing the retention behaviour of polymers was extended to account for gradient elution (PM). It was found that all models are suited to properly predict gradient retention volumes provided the extraction of the analyte specific parameters is performed from gradient experiments as well. The LSSM and QSSM on principle cannot describe retention behaviour under critical or SEC conditions. Since the PM is designed to cover all three modes of polymer chromatography, it is therefore superior to the other models. However, the determination of the analyte specific parameters, which are needed to calibrate the retention behaviour, strongly depend on the suitable selection of initial experiments. A useful strategy for a purposeful selection of these calibration experiments is proposed.

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