BioSmart uses high pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). High-performance liquid chromatography is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture.
HPLC works on the principle that some molecules take longer than others to pass through a chromatography column. This depends on the affinity of the molecule with the mobile phase (liquid or gas) and the stationary phase (solid or liquid). The molecules that have more affinity with the stationary phase take longer to pass through and vice versa.
There are different types of columns to separate molecules by different criteria.
There are several types of columns. There’s molecular exclusion columns, that separate molecules by weight. These columns use tiny beads with canals in them, this causes small molecules to take a longer route and therefore take longer to pass through; normal phase liquid chromatography columns (NPLC) separate molecules depending on their polarity. These columns are made out of silica with polar functional groups covalently attached. Polar molecules take longer to pass through these columns because they are attracted to it through dipole-dipole interactions; Reverse phase chromatography columns (RPLC) do the opposite of NPLC columns, they’re made of silica with non-polar groups equivalently attached. Here, non-polar molecules stay behind interacting with the stationary phase through Van Der Waals forces and the hydrophobic effect and take longer to pass through; Ionic exchange columns separate molecules by charge. In these columns molecules with formal charges take longer to pass through by electrostatic interactions.
Different columns are used and applied to extract and separate individual molecules based upon the nature of the molecules to be separated, the economics/costs of production and the efficiency and purity of the extraction.