Why are Micro-Inserts Used in Chromatography?

Why are Micro-Inserts Used in Chromatography?

Dec. 27th, 2023
Chromatography, the foundation of analytical chemistry, serves as a valuable tool for the separation and analysis of complex mixtures. The technique relies on the interaction between the sample components and the stationary phase as the sample components move through the mobile phase. Several factors contribute to the success of chromatographic analysis, but one of the key factors in optimising its efficiency is the incorporation of micro-inserts. These discreet devices, with their small proportions, play a crucial role in improving the accuracy and sensitivity of the chromatographic process.

Understanding chromatography

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Chromatography works on the principle of selective adsorption and distribution. As a sample passes through a stationary phase, the interaction between its components and the medium results in a separation based on the inherent chemical properties of the sample. Important parameters such as column efficiency, resolution and peak symmetry have a significant impact on the effectiveness of a chromatographic separation. Microinserts can help address the challenges associated with sample injection and interaction, ultimately improving the overall performance of the chromatographic system.
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6 Mainly Role of microinserts

Minimising sample volume

Microinserts are powerful when processing small sample volumes in the microlitre range. This is particularly advantageous when dealing with limited or precious samples. The efficient use of small quantities ensures that samples appear accurately on chromatograms, waste is reduced and rare materials can be analysed.

Prevents sample evaporation

Injecting small volumes of sample can lead to sample evaporation, but this concern is effectively alleviated by micro-inserts. These inserts act as a protective barrier, protecting volatile components from premature loss. This protects the integrity of the sample and ensures that the analysis results reflect the true composition of the original material.

Increased accuracy and sensitivity

Micro inserts make a significant contribution to accuracy and sensitivity. Their design allows the entire sample to be introduced into the chromatographic system. This is an important factor in trace-level analysis. The result is sharper peaks and higher signal-to-noise ratios, which are essential for achieving reliable and reproducible results even at low analyte concentrations.
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Reduced carry-over

A persistent problem in chromatography, carryover refers to the presence of residual sample from previous injections. Microinserts address this problem by confining the sample within a confined space, minimising the risk of contamination between injections. This is particularly important for maintaining the purity of subsequent samples and achieving accurate, artefact-free chromatograms.

Compatibility with autosamplers

The microinsert is designed with compatibility in mind and integrates seamlessly with autosampler systems. This automation not only speeds up the chromatographic workflow, but also reduces the potential for human error associated with manual injection. The adaptability of the microinsert to automated processes increases the efficiency of high-throughput analysis.


As chromatography continues to evolve, the role of micro-inserts becomes increasingly important. Their ability to address the challenges associated with sample volume, evaporation and injection techniques contributes to the accuracy and sensitivity required in modern analytical chemistry. As technology advances, the continued development and integration of microinserts will be at the forefront of innovation, further pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in the field of chromatography.

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