Monolithic Stationary Phases. Place of Birth: Prague
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, USA
It is not generally known that monoliths, which are now the fastest growing segment of HPLC column technologies, were invented in Prague as early as the late 1960s. Although these early monoliths comprising a block of swollen hydrophilic gel did not perform flawlessly, the concept has been demonstrated. Unfortunately, after a few more approaches were unsuccessfully tested, this technology was almost forgotten until the late 1980s. At that time, two groups developed simultaneously synthetic polymer monoliths with an excellent performance in the separation of proteins. Interestingly enough, one of them was again in Prague. This new generation of monoliths triggered a broad interest in this technology and has led to development of a wide variety of formats and materials. This review also describes in some detail the current most successful monolithic formats such as discs and columns as well as a plethora of materials that were used for their preparation.
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