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Implementation of alternating langmuir and anti-langmuir zones in chromatography columns

Potential applications

  • Pharmaceutical industry    
  • Biotechnology    
  • Food-water-environmental control

Competitive advantages

  • Separation and purification with higher final concentration
  • Higher throughput for preparative separation

The most versatile and powerful technique for the separation of key compounds in the pharmaceutical industry  is liquid chromatography. A limitation of this technique is that high efficiencies can be obtained only for low sample concentrations. For high concentrations leading to overloading, an undesired concentration shock arises, which will either broaden the component zone downstream (Langmuir or L-behavior) or upstream (anti-Langmuir or AL behavior). In chromatography, analytes need to be in selective interaction with a stationary phase. When there is insufficient surface on this stationary phase, the analytes migrate downstream the channel in the mobile phase until a free interaction site is found. Because the migration distance is longer under overloading conditions, considerable dilution occurs compared to a non-overloading situation, resulting in a non-symmetrical peak either at the right (Langmuir) or the left (Anti-Langmuir) of the (space-based) peak. This sample band gets wider and wider until the concentration has dropped to a value at which sufficient interaction surface is available.



The core of the invention is to alternate Langmuir and Anti-Langmuir zones along the column so that the steeper concentration front is periodically moving up- and downstream the center of the peak (in an accordion fashion), thereby limiting overloading dispersion.

Two different types of stationary phases with respectively L and AL adsorption properties have to be incorporated in the column alternatively in space to achieve this effect. Simulations have indicated that an increase in performance by a factor of 2 can be obtained. Such a decreasing in dispersion allows to generate much higher concentrations and purity of the separated streams.


Patent details

Priority data: EP20180195681 filed on September 20th, 2018
PCT application: WO2020058496 (A1) published on March 26th, 2020



Hugo Loosvelt
IP & Licensing Manager