Rigid poly[hydroxyethyl acrylate-co-poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate] (Poly(HEA-co-PEGDA) monoliths were synthesized inside 75-µm i.d. capillaries by one-step UV-initiated copolymerization using methanol and ethyl ether as porogens. The optimized monolithic column was evaluated for hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) of standard proteins. Six proteins were separated within 20 min with high resolution using a 20 min elution gradient, resulting in a peak capacity of 54. The performance of this monolithic column for HIC was comparable or superior to the performance of columns packed with small particles. Monoliths synthesized solely from PEGDA were also found to show excellent performance in HIC of proteins. Continuing efforts showed that rigid monoliths could be synthesized from PEGDA or poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylates (PEGDMA) containing different ethylene glycol chain lengths for HIC of proteins. Effects of PEG chain length, bi-porogen ratio and reaction temperature on monolith morphology and back pressure were investigated. Monoliths prepared from PEGDA 258 were found to provide the best chromatographic performance with respect to peak capacity and resolution. An optimized PEGDA 258 monolithic column was able to separate proteins using a 20-min elution gradient with a peak capacity of 62. The preparation of these in situ polymerized single-monomer monolithic columns was highly reproducible. The single-monomer synthesis approach clearly improves column-to-column reproducibility.The highly crosslinked monolith networks resulting from single crosslinking monomers were found to enhance the surface area of the monolith and concentrations of mesopores. Thus, monolithic columns were developed from four additional crosslinking monomers, i.e., bisphenol A dimethacrylate (BADMA), bisphenol A ethoxylate diacrylate (BAEDA, EO/phenol = 2 or 4) and pentaerythritol diacrylate monostearate (PDAM) for RPLC of small molecules. Gradient elution of alkyl benzenes and alkyl parabens was achieved with high resolution using all monolithic columns. Porogen selection for the BADMA and PDAM was investigated in detail with the intention of obtaining data that could possiblly lead to a rational method for porogen selection.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



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Liquid chromatography, Monolithic, Hydrophobic interaction, Capillary column, Polymeric, Diacrylate, Dimethacrylate, Poly(ethylene glycol), Proteins, Reversed phase chromatography, Small molecules, Bisphenol A dimethacrylate, Bisphenol A ethoxylate diacrylate, Pentaerythritol diacrylate monostearate, Porogen selection

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