CombiFlash tripled the efficiency at the University of Virginia Synthetic Organic Lab.​​

Anna Davis
Graduate Student
Unversity of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

My lab efficiency AND column accuracy have skyrocketed since we got the CombiFlash​.” 

​What problem did you need to solve?

Being in a synthetic organic lab, mostly focused on methods, I have to run between 1-4 columns pretty much every day.  Doing this by hand not only takes at least an hour (by the time a column is packed, run, fractions collected and tlc'd for purity, nmr'd) but is inefficient due to having to occasionally stop and refill a solvent bulb/take tlc of fractions/adjust eluent systems on the fly.  Also, it takes a great deal of time away from other lab duties (setting up experiments, running analyses, general research tasks), which greatly lowers research efficiency, something incredibly important to graduate students trying to collect data and publish.

What was the problem addressed?

Our department has a CombiFlash Rf that was bought with communal funds for the use of all synthetic labs. As it was being housed in a different (synthetic inorganic) lab, I contacted that lab's PI to possibly have it transferred to ours, where it would get more use. This PI was very amenable to transferring it, and it has resided in our lab and seen a staggering increase in use since.  It is now utilized by every member of the lab for separations on a huge variety of scales and complexities.

How did you find workting with Teledyne ISCO?

Great, I had some maintenance questions when we experienced some leaks/screws being knocked loose during the lab transfer, and the technician I contacted was very helpful and responsive. I learned a lot about the inner workings of the machine during the conversation as well, so now I feel confident to take care of it and keep it running for the lab.  Also you guys were very responsive on Twitter.

How have you benefited from the process?
My lab efficiency has, no joke, tripled since getting the CombiFlash. The ability to monitor the UV absorbance of spectra as they're collected, automatically separate peaks when another fraction begins to elute, and simply be able to walk away from the column and do other work for the few minutes it takes to run on its own has hugely impacted how quickly I can collect data and how well I can multitask.  On top of the efficiency benefit, the column flow rate, gradient, etc. are constant and controlled throughout the duration of the separation, making it far more accurate than a hand column.  Adjustments to eluent systems and fraction collection can also be made in real time as desired compounds elute, which provides another advantage over hand columns.

What would you say if you were recommending us to another company?
Essentially, everything I said above!  My lab efficiency AND column accuracy have skyrocketed since we got the CombiFlash and I go around bragging out how helpful it is to other labs already. It has been so instrumental to my productivity the past year or so we've had it, and I make absolutely no effort to contain that excitement!​​