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Device to remove unwanted solvents from biochemical samples

Scientists at Leiden University have invented a simple and robust approach to efficiently remove unwanted solvents from liquid mixtures containing dissolved chemical components.

Biochemical analysis of complex mixtures is of great importance in various fields of application. A combination of multiple analytical techniques, such as LC-MS, GC-MS and LC-NMR, is often needed to achieve sufficient molecular separation and enrichment. The combination of LC with NMR is not straightforward, certainly not for polar molecules. Scientists at Leiden University have developed an efficient and robust interface between LC and NMR to overcome this problem.

The exchange of solvent is achieved by the controlled evaporation of a (hanging) droplet using a machine vision feedback loop. The apparatus  was succesfully tested for a multitude of samples containing volatile, thermosensitive, polar and nonpolar analytes.

Leiden University is looking for partners for further (joint) development of the device and is looking to license this powerful technology to commercial part(ies).

Key benefits

  • Automated
  • Simple and robust
  • Tested
  • Efficient solvent exchange
  • Preconcentration
  • Compatible with standard micro/nano-flow LC-systems (extendable to normal LC-systems after further development)


  • Multidimensional LC
  • Solvent switching: e.g. NMR
  • Sample preconcentration
  • Active component discovery in complex mixtures run in isocratic and gradient systems
  • The technique can be coupled to spotting techniques such as MALDI-MS and Thin Layer Chromatography

Development stage

Fully operational system with proof of principle for use in two-dimensional LCxLC and LC-NMR

Luris reference number


Patent status

A patent application has been filed

Data available on request

A scientific publication is available on request

Further information

Frits Fallaux Knowledge Broker (LU) +31-71-527 2517