Simultaneous analysis of nanoparticles and small molecules by high-performance liquid chromatography using a silica monolithic column
A high-performance liquid chromatography method using a commercially available silica monolithic column for the simultaneous analysis of nanoparticles and small molecules was developed. The method uses the micrometer-sized flow-through pores and nanometer-sized mesopores of the monolithic column for separation: first, size separation of nanoparticles was performed by the micrometer-sized pores using the hydrodynamic mode, and then small molecules were separated by the nanometer-sized pores using the normal-phase mode. The method was used to evaluate and compare three existing methods for purifying nanoparticles and to analyse nanoparticle stability. The bimodal structure of the monolithic column is promising for the simultaneous separation of nanoparticles and small molecules.