Chapter 3: Separation techniques

by Martina Catani, Simona Felletti, Flavio Antonio Franchina

Abstract

This chapter contains the information related to the use of the most suitable separation techniques used in metabolomics research, considering also sample preparation as an important sample pre-treatment step fundamental to perform the analytical separation. General principles of the most used extraction methods and analytical separation techniques are described. In this context, the main focus will be on column chromatography, briefly discussing theoretical principles and practical issues, along with instrumental features. A section on multidimensional chromatography is also present.

Martina Catani

Department of Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Agricultural Sciences, University of Ferrara,
Ferrara, Italy

Martina Catani is assistant professor in analytical chemistry at the University of Ferrara (Dept. of Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Sciences) since July 2021. She received a PhD in chemical sciences in 2018 from the same university.

She works in the field of liquid chromatography for both analytical and preparative purposes. Her main research activities are focused on fundamentals of kinetic and thermodynamic phenomena in chiral and achiral HPLC and SFC; separation of bio-macromolecules; purification of polypeptides, oligonucleotides, proteins by means of single-column and continuous countercurrent multicolumn preparative LC.
She is author of more than 40 papers on peer reviewed journal and she has presented her research activities in more than 20 national and international scientific meetings.

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Simona Felletti

Department of Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Agricultural Sciences, University of Ferrara,
Ferrara, Italy

Simona Felletti received the PhD cum laude from the University of Ferrara (Italy) in February 2020. She is currently working as a research associate at the same University (Dept. of Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Sciences). 
Her research is focused on the investigation of retention mechanisms, mass transfer and adsorption phenomena on porous adsorbents for liquid and supercritical fluid chromatography with applications in the field of chiral separations, on the one hand, and in the purification of large biomolecules, on the other.
She is co-author of 23 papers on peer reviewed journals and she has presented her research works in 20 national and international scientific meetings.


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Flavio Franchina

Department of Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Agricultural Sciences, University of Ferrara,
Ferrara, Italy

Flavio is an assistant professor in analytical chemistry at the University of Ferrara (Italy) in the Dept. of Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Agricultural Sciences since May 2021. He holds a PhD degree in analytical food chemistry from the University of Messina (IT). He also conducted research activities at Dartmouth College (NH, USA) and at the University of Liège (BE).
With his interdisciplinary background, his research activities range from life-science applications to fundamental studies on method development and optimization for sample preparation, separation(s), mass spectrometry detection, and data elaboration for the non-targeted and targeted analysis of complex matrices.
He has authored 49 indexed and peer-reviewed publications, three book chapters, and over 40 conference active presentations. He is the 2018 recipient of the John B. Phillips Award for his contribution to the field of multidimensional gas chromatography and he is listed in the ‘Top 40 Under 40’ in analytical science by the Analytical Scientist.


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