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EUROPE by yaofenji

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          Volume 8
          2003
          pp 22–23
                        2                                                                         EUROPE
Networked Purification System Increases
Productivity for Medicinal Chemists
In the highly competitive race to develop useful new compounds, medicinal                               freedom to monitor and control an in-
chemists are responsible for advancing synthesis projects to a decision point                           strument from any location. The Combi-
as quickly as possible. In some companies, quotas for compounds to be synthe-                           Flash Companion from Isco, Inc. (Fig. 2)
                                                                                                        is the first flash chromatography system
sized and delivered for screening have reportedly doubled in recent years.
                                                                                                        to implement this type of next-genera-
This gives chemists a strong incentive to look for innovative ways to multi-task                        tion networked interface.
and to reduce the time spent on repetitive and routine activities. Since purifi-                            This flexibility is due to an internal
cation of target compounds typically accounts for 30–40 % of the chemist’s                              Linux-based Web server and network
time (Fig. 1) when done by traditional manual methods, it offers a great                                hardware that serves a thin-client appli-
                                                                                                        cation. The Companion thus incorporates
opportunity for time savings and increased productivity.
                                                                                                        its own powerful internal processor that
                                                                                                        automates its operation and processes
Automated Purification                               on separated compounds. However, the
                                                                                                        the data. XML data allows the inter-
                                                     chemist still typically runs purifications
Many medicinal chemists have only re-                                                                   change of control instructions and chro-
                                                     only when he or she will be in the lab to
cently made the transition from fully man-                                                              matographic results between the instru-
                                                     monitor the collection of precious com-
ual flash chromatography to instrument                                                                  ment and chemist at a Windows-based
                                                     pounds throughout the run.
systems that automate solvent gradients                                                                 computer. Windows-based computers
and fraction collection. These systems                                                                  can range from a PDA running the
                                                     Flexible Communication and Control
free the chemist to work on additional                                                                  Pocket PC operating system, mobile note-
                                                     Provides Additional Time Savings
syntheses in the lab while a purification is                                                            book computers on a wireless network,
running. Flash chromatography systems                The same computer and communication                to the ubiquitous desktop computer.
with on-line UV detection can additionally           technologies that allow universal In-              Though the design opens itself to nearly
reduce the amount of TLC work required               ternet access can also give chemists the           limitless connection possibilities, operat-




Fig. 1: Manual Flash purification is typically the most time-consuming task
for the medicinal chemist performing organic syntheses. Automated flash
chromatography with network control can provide an 80 % time savings in
purification, increasing the number of synthesis projects that can be suc-    Fig. 2: Multiple automated Flash chromatography systems with network
cessfully advanced to a decision point.                                       connectivity. Each system is accessible from any web browser connection.
                                                                                                      Fig. 5: An optional expansion module allows
                                                                                                      CombiFlash Companion to run 4 samples
                                                                                                      unattended, using columns from 4–330 g for
                                                                                                      milligram to multi-gram purifications.



                                                                                                      ply, laboratory instrument monitoring
Fig. 3: The Isco CombiFlash Companion fits                                                            and control no longer requires the time
conveniently in a hood, and includes a lockable
mount that holds a standard touchscreen PDA                                                           and presence of the chemist. Compound
for on-board control via the PDA's browser        Fig. 4: Here, a chemist uses a wireless tablet PC   purification takes place while the
software.                                         to check the status of a separation running in a    chemist is performing synthesis, main-
                                                  remote lab. Because CombiFlash Companion has
                                                  its own built-in Linux-based web server, it is      taining a laboratory notebook, or even
                                                  easy to implement wireless connectivity using       attending a meeting.
                                                  standard, readily-available personal computer          Chemists stay in touch with their
ing the instrument in any environment             accessories.                                        instruments from wherever their other
from direct connection to a computer to
                                                                                                      work takes them. Data from previous
a site-wide network is as simple as start-
                                                                                                      chromatographic separations are equally
ing Windows Internet Explorer.                    work for control by any PC (Fig. 3). With
                                                                                                      accessible from any internet connection,
   This technology offers a number of             the addition of standard consumer wire-
                                                                                                      and delivered in convenient formats.
advantages.                                       less products, Companion can be incor-
                                                                                                      However, when there is a need to return
                                                  porated into Wi-Fi networks. Whether
                                                                                                      to the instrument, the space-saving PDA
                                                  the connection is wired or wireless, a
Reduced Lab Space Requirement                                                                         provides touch-screen control. Eliminat-
                                                  Network Administrator can restrict
                                                                                                      ing the traditional, dedicated PC once
Traditional instrument control previ-             access to certain users or groups, or
                                                                                                      again allows the space in and around the
ously required a dedicated PC for its             allow for plant-wide or even off-site
                                                                                                      fume hood to be used for chemistry, not
“front panel.” Now, a low-cost, space-            access to the instrument.
                                                                                                      computing. The overall savings in time
saving PDA connected to the Com-
                                                                                                      spent on compound purification enables
panion’s USB port provides front panel
                                                  Data Delivery and Storage to                        the medicinal chemist to advance more
control. Often the other role of the dedi-
                                                  Suit Your Workflow                                  synthesis projects to the next stage.
cated PC was to automate the instrument
operation and perform complex data                With Companion connected as a network
                                                                                                      The author:
processing. Again, these functions are            node, chromatographic data are easily               David Trail
internal to the Companion. The very               transferred, stored, and backed-up to               Chromatography product specialist at Isco, Inc. He
same PDA can display the real time                meet requirements. The instrument will              has worked with a variety of LC interfaces in QC, R&D,
operational parameters and the results            save the data in formats easily integrated          formulation, and discovery environments.
of the data processing.                           with Microsoft Office products, as an
                                                  Adobe Acrobat PDF file, or as raw text.             Contact for Europe:
                                                                                                      Dr. Ulla Swidersky
                                                  Whatever format is chosen, the instru-
Convenient Data Access                                                                                Isco Europe SI
                                                  ment can also post the file to a network
                                                                                                      Siemensstr. 2
Ethernet and Universal Serial Bus (USB)           folder or deliver them to an E-mail inbox.
                                                                                                      64823 Gross-Umstadt, Germany
communications allow for high-speed
                                                                                                      Tel.: +49 1702 848 806
connections to the instrument. The built-
                                                  Conclusions                                         USwidersky@teledyne.com
in Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC)
and TCP/IP support make it easy to di-            So what does the combination of Ether-              www.isco.com
rectly connect to the instrument, or to           net, Web Servers, PDAs, and open con-
add the instrument to a corporate net-            nectivity do for productivity? Quite sim-

								
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