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Difference between HPLC and LCMS

The major difference between HPLC and LCMS is that HPLC uses Non-volatile and Volatile buffers whereas LCMS uses Only volatile buffers.

Common Difference between HPLC and LCMS/HPLC-MS

diagram of an LC-MS setup
Image: schematic diagram of an LC-MS setup. Credit: Cwszot, Dagui1929, CasJu, and YassineMrabet, reproduced under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license.

HPLC: High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is a chromatographic technique used to separate and analyze compounds in a mixture using liquid chromatography. It is a highly efficient and precise method used in pharmaceuticals. HPLC separates compounds based on their physical and chemical properties and can detect even trace amounts of a substance.

LCMS: Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) is a powerful analytical technique that combines the separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (LC) with the identification and quantification capabilities of mass spectrometry (MS). Mass spectrometry is used to find out mass to charge ratio of charged particles. LC-MS allows for the identification and quantification of a wide range of compounds, including small molecules, proteins, and peptides, in complex mixtures. It is highly sensitive and can detect trace levels of substances in a sample.

HPLC-MS: The combination of HPLC-MS is commonly known as LC-MS, Combining both techniques lower error and increases accuracy, Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry is highly required in the case of a variety of compounds.


Difference between HPLC and LCMS

HPLC LCMS
Full Name: High-Performance Liquid chromatography (or) High-Pressure Liquid chromatographyFull Name: Liquid Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry
Buffers: Non-volatile and Volatile buffers will be used Examples: Phosphate buffers, Citrate buffers, Trifluoroacetic acid, Ammonium Acetate, Ammonium formate (NH4HCO2), Formic acid, Acetic acid, and Bicarbonate buffersBuffers, Only volatile buffers will be used Examples: Ammonium acetate, Ammonium formate (NH4HCO2), Formic acid, Acetic acid, and Ammonium bicarbonate buffers -Phosphate buffers (Non-volatile buffers) will not be used
It helps in the separation and identification of a mixture of compounds through a PDA or UV detectorLC helps in the separation of a mixture of compounds whereas Mass Spectrometry helps in the identification of compounds
Low sensitivity, Specificity and will not give any molecular structure informationIt can provide high sensitivity, specificity, and molecular structural information for the qualitative assay of drugs and their metabolites
Sample Processing: Mostly Clean or Aqueous sample -No sample extraction requiredSample Processing: Mostlybiological sample -Sample extraction required to extract the compound to the solution which can be injected into the LCMS
Detection: The detection of a compound is based on the wavelengthDetection: The detection of a compound is based on m/z (mass/charge ratio)
Detector: PDA or UV detectorDetector: CEM ( Channel Electro Multiplier)
Uses: It is used for identifying, quantifying, and purifying the individual components of the mixture.Uses: It is used for the separation, identification, and quantification of both unknown and known compounds as well as to elucidate the structure and chemical properties of different molecules.
Analysis: It is used to analyze finished drug products and their ingredients quantitatively and qualitativelyAnalysis: It is used to analyze biochemical, organic, and inorganic compounds quantitatively and qualitatively

Advantage of LCMS over HPLC

In general, LC-MS is a more sensitive, accurate, and fast analyzing method than HPLC, but it is also more complex and requires more specialized equipment and training to operate. The choice of which method to use will depend on the specific needs of the compound analysis and the resources available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why LC-MS is better than HPLC

LC-MS technique is often considered to be a more accurate, sensitive, and specific method than HPLC because it combines the separation capabilities of LC with the identification and quantification capabilities of MS. In summary, LC-MS is a powerful and sensitive method for analyzing a wide range of compounds

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