Just-in-Time Derivatization

Application chemist preloading autosamplerFor many of us, COVID-19 changed the way we work. It changed the way we communicate, gather, and network. Large tradeshows like Pittcon moved virtual or shuttered their doors entirely, and sometimes, that wasn’t the worst thing. Less time traveling meant more time available in the lab, attending to your instruments. But after three years of this, it’s time to step away from your instruments and let automation take over.

Derivatization ensures that even highly polar analytes like sugars and free fatty acids can be successfully separated for analysis with gas chromatography. This tool is especially important in applications such as metabolomics, where the immense chemical diversity across the polarity and volatility spectrums can make studies difficult. Unfortunately, these derivatized metabolites are susceptible to degradation, which is especially troublesome in batch-derivatized samples, making data less reliable and repeatable.

The solution to this problem is not to manually derivatize each sample just-in-time for injection, but to automate the process. The L-PAL3 Derivatizer which debuted at Pittcon 2023 does exactly that. With automatic tool exchangers, syringe wash stations, and agitators, the L-PAL3 with just-in-time derivatization is able to execute two-stage derivatization with the highest precision for an entire sample tray.

LPAL3 Autoloader; text reads: Wash Syringe (3x 1:1 Acetonitrile/Methanol via Fast Wash Station)

Unlike other just-in-time derivatizers on the market, LECO’s is already tied into the powerful ChromaTOF brand software for seamless workflow integration. No additional programs are needed, as the intuitive method design process of ChromaTOF has been expanded to include sample prep overlapping and scheduling. With this new tool in its belt, LECO’s GC-TOFMS delivers the sensitivity and full mass-range acquisition required for both targeted and non-targeted metabolomics workflows.

Screenshot of sample management software.
Maximize efficiency with overlapping sample prep.

Add just-in-time derivatization to your Pegasus for true set-it-and-forget-it automation in your workflow. Check out the video for LECO’s new just-in-time derivatizer and see what you’ve been missing!

Watch the Derivatizer