Main content area

Monolithic alkylsilane column: A promising separation medium for oligonucleotides by ion-pair reversed-phase liquid chromatography A

Qiao, Jun-qin, Liang, Chao, Zhu, Zhen-yu, Cao, Zhao-ming, Zheng, Wei-juan, Lian, Hong-zhen
Journal of chromatography 2018 v.1569 pp. 168-177
oligonucleotides, particle size, reversed-phase liquid chromatography, temperature
In this paper, a monolithic octadecylsilane column and particle-packed octadecylsilane columns were used to investigate the retention behaviors of oligonucleotides by ion-pair reversed-phase liquid chromatography (IP-RPLC). Results showed that, with same base composition, hairpin oligonucleotides always had weaker retention than corresponding random coil oligonucleotides on the monolithic column, but not on the particle-packed columns. In addition, the linear correlation between the retention factor k of oligonucleotides and the reciprocal of temperature (1/T), especially for hairpins, was relatively weaker on the particle-packed columns, as compared to the correlation on the monolithic column. The correlation between k and 1/T became weaker with decreasing particle size of the particle-packed columns. Moreover, results revealed that the overall retention order on the particle-packed column with small particles (3 μm) differed greatly from that on the monolithic column. In contrast, the retention order on the 10 μm particle-packed column was very close to that on the monolithic column. From the above, we inferred that oligonucleotides could keep their primary conformations unchanged when passing through the monolithic column, attributed to the special pore structures of the monolith. However, the conformations of oligonucleotides were suppressed or even destroyed when oligonucleotides passed through the particle-packed columns. This because the narrow and tortuous channels created by the stacked stationary phase particles could lead to more complex and unequable retention behaviors. Therefore, the monolithic column exhibited better retention regularity for oligonucleotides of secondary structure especially for hairpins than the particle-packed columns. It is noteworthy that the monolith-based IP-RPLC opens an intriguing prospect in accurately elucidating the retention behaviors of oligonucleotides.