CHRONECT Symbiosis Systems from iChrom Solutions are composed of individual world-class Modules, fully-integrated in sophisticated combinations, and controlled via powerful CHRONOS™ Symbiosis software. Together, these purpose-built Modules deliver fully-automated, highly-sophisticated and powerful online SPE sample preparation, followed by UHPLC analysis.
Modules included within each system are listed in the respective System page.
Performance specifications and other details on CHRONECT Symbiosis Modules are listed below.
NOTE – any or all of the CHRONECT Symbiosis Modules may be purchased individually. This may be of interest, in particular, to those laboratories owning legacy Spark Holland Symbiosis or Prospekt systems, and wishing to upgrade their capabilities. Please contact iChrom Solutions for a quotation.
CHRONECT SPH1299 Pump
The CHRONECT SPH1299™ UHPLC pump is an advanced workhorse for robust, state-of-the-art UHPLC performance and beyond, delivering ultra-precise UHPLC gradient flow up to 18,850 psi (1300 bar). Featuring true automatic compressibility compensation, self-priming and cleaning plus simple maintenance, this pump sets a new standard for performance, ease of use, and reliability.
The CHRONECT SPH1299 uses a proven operational concept, employing four independent, linear motor driven pistons to provide binary gradient flows rates from 1-4,000 uL per minute. Along with automatic compressibility compensation, this combination delivers unequalled performance, even at backpressures approaching the pump limits.
Independence of the four linear drives – along with the two pairs of serially-coupled pump heads – generates maximum freedom for flow control and pulse reduction. Automatic solvent compressibility measurement is not only used to compensate for flow pulsation, but also to compensate for flow rate reduction caused by solvent compression. This unique feature of the SPH1299™ makes UHPLC methods easier to maintain and transfer.
Adding intelligent, novel flow control algorithms, this freedom has been fully explored to create a stable and accurate flow, independent of solvent compressibility, pressure and flow rate. This results in solvent gradients with exceptional precision of both the solvent composition and the flow rate; absolutely required for reproducible, optimum gradient UHPLC.
A novel automatic priming mechanism fully automates the normally cumbersome priming procedure. A built-in prime pump aspirates solvent through the pump heads when starting with empty solvent inlet lines. No need to help your pump with a syringe for awkward manual solvent aspiration. Using an electrically actuated purge valve, SPH1299™ can prime and purge – unassisted by you - in just a few minutes!
SPH1299™ has active piston backwash for longer lifetime of piston seals. This is very effective to increase up-time of the pump, but eventually a seal will need replacement. With this in mind, the pump head has been designed to facilitate easy disassembly and seal exchange. No need to remove covers or take the pump out of the UHPLC stack. No need, also, for expensive exchange of entire pump head/drive assemblies! Simply disconnect the pump head from its drive, remove the piston and replace the seal. In just minutes!
CHRONECT SPH1299 Summary Specifications:
- Pressure range up to 18,850 psi (~1,300 bar)
- Flow range from 1-4,000 µL/minute
- 4-piston, proprietary linear drive
- Dual serially-coupled pump heads per channel
- Automatic compressibility compensation for maximum flow rate accuracy, reproducibility, and minimal pulsation
- Self-washing piston seals
- Easy, quick seal-servicing by user
CHRONECT PAL LSI Autosampler
The CHRONECT PAL LSI Autosampler is based on the world-leading PAL platform from CTC Analytics in Switzerland. Perhaps the predominant overall platform in laboratories globally, many thousands of PAL samplers can be found in labs from a very large variety of application spaces; forensic, pharmaceutical, clinical, food/ag, etc.
The CTC PAL is known for easy serviceability, reliability, and extreme flexibility. CHRONECT Symbiosis takes maximum advantage of these capabilities, starting with sophisticated control by the CHRONOS Symbiosis software from Axel Semrau.
The broad-spectrum usage of the PAL platform has led to unprecedented power, well beyond the standard functions of LC or GC injection. Within the CHRONECT Symbiosis, main functionality includes:
- Direct sample injection in UHPLC-alone mode
- Sample handling of raw samples for SPE extractions
- Automated, unattended addition of internal standards
- Sample transfers
- Dilute and mix
- Air gaps during sample injections or transfers to minimize sample-to-sample carryover
- Combinations and staging of these and any other operations required, via the CHRONOS Symbiosis software
The PAL LSI (included with CHRONECT Symbiosis) is a robot that can reach any three-dimensional position within its working space and is ideally suited to pick and place objects like vials. It can inject from several sample containers into different devices or transport vials from a tray to a temperature-controlled stack.
CHRONECT PAL LSI Summary Specifications:
- Second valve included standard for enhanced productivity and interface with online SPE modules
- Optional Peltier stack for sample storage at controlled temperature
- Large Sample Capacity
- 162 x 2 mL-vials can be stored on one tray holder.
- Standard length PAL LSI can hold 648 x 2 mL-vials on four Tray Holders.
- Proprietary drive technology for
- Detection of missing vials
- Verification of correct position of the syringe needle in the injector port (which prevents bending of syringe needles)
CHRONECT ALIAS Fraction Collector
ALIAS™ is a multipurpose sample handling device that has been installed in hundreds of labs and is known for its ease of use, flexibility, and rugged reliability.
In the CHRONECT "Sytems", the ALIAS is used as a fraction collector for applications requiring preservation of key analytes and/or products of upstream separations, under complete and integrated control of the CHRONOS software.
Some of the key features of the ALIAS fraction collector are:
- Compact, stackable design
- Reliable performance
- Efficient, multi-solvent needle wash (virtually eliminates carry-over)
- Collect into well plates or individual tubes (open or sealed)
- Holds up to 24 vials of 10 mL each
- Reagent addition and mix capabilities for derivatization, dilution
- Maintain temperature control on collected samples down to 4o C.
- Solvent Selection Valve (SSV). Optional 6-port solvent selection valve for extended selection of reagents for needle wash and reagent addition (option)
- ISS – In-Stream Switching for column switching or flow diversion
- Bio-inert flow path
- Large Volume injection
- Sample cooling
CHRONECT Mistral Cool
The CHRONECT Mistral Cool is a high-performance HPLC/UHPLC column temperature controller.
Temperature control is an important parameter in liquid chromatography separations. Some separations are highly-temperature dependent; others less so. But virtually every separation is affected to some extent by temperature.
Precise control of column temperature – as well as using temperature higher or lower than ambient – can affect the separation in numerous ways:
- Maintaining a constant temperature helps to keep the separation reproducible, reducing shifting peak retention times and keeping peak shapes constant
- Elevated temperature can be a great help for increasing the efficiency of the separation; i.e., generating narrower peak shapes and therefore making it easier to distinguish components otherwise difficult to separate
- Elevated temperature usually decreases the viscosity of the mobile phase. This can be essential when working with highly-viscous solvents - like water/alcohol mixtures – as decreased viscosity improves mass transfer and thus the separation. Decreased viscosity also means decreased column backpressure, which means the possibility for higher flow rates, as well as column lifetimes
- Lower than ambient-temperatures can be important for analytes subject to thermal degradation at ambient temperatures
- Many chiral separations are significantly more selective at reduced temperature
The CHRONECT Mistral Cool is the ideal system module for precise control of column temperatures. Powered by Peltier technology combined with a forced air oven for rapid equilibration, the CHRONECT Mistral Cool can control temperatures accurately over a range of 4o C. to 75o C. This range is broad enough to accommodate virtually any chromatographic separation. The stability of the oven is further enhanced with the circulating air bath, while the mobile phase pre-heater reduces any temperature gradients across the column.
One important option available in the CHRONECT Mistral Cool is the LC column selector valve combination. With this feature, it is possible to switch columns - even for different assays – automatically and unattended (assay sequencing). For laboratories running many different assays on a routine basis – like forensic labs - this can be a tremendous assist to lab efficiency.
CHRONECT Mistral Cool Summary Specifications:
- 4° C. – 90 ° C.; 4° C. – 75° C. with multi-position column switching
- Temperature gradient programming
- Excellent temperature stability
- Integrated solvent pre-heater
- Vapor sensor for safety
- Automated column selection. Select up to 6 different columns via the keyboard or the PC. This feature comes as an option and can be a great help for method development or if you want to run multiple assays on a single system.
- UHPLC valves available
CHRONECT ACE (Automated Cartridge Exchanger)
The CHRONECT ACE Module is the heart of the online-SPE stage of all CHRONECT Symbiosis systems.
The dedicated functions of the CHRONECT ACE are:
- 1 To handle the CHRONECT HySphere cartridges used for the online SPE extraction, transferring them from their holding trays to the active cartridge locations, and back to the trays upon extraction completion
- 2 To route the flow of SPE extraction-protocol solvents from the HPD delivery system, in order to ensure accurate and reproducible sample extractions
- 3 To switch the cartridge online and offline (into and out of) the UHPLC mobile phase flow, allowing extracted analytes to be eluted from the cartridge and onto the analytical column
- 4 In the case of the CHRONECT ACE Dual (having two independent cartridge positions), the unit can shuttle cartridges as needed, back and forth between the two different cartridge positions
The CHRONECT ACE employs a purpose-built robotic system which reliably picks up and moves the cartridge into an active location, where the cartridge is immobilized within a flow-through, pressure-resistant mechanism (the “Clamp”). The Clamp is connected to a fluidic switching valve (or multiple valves in the CHRONECT ACE Dual) allowing for routing of both extraction protocol solvents, and UHPLC mobile phase solvents, in order to a) execute the sample extraction protocol necessary for the assay being performed, and b) allow for elution into the analytical column as the final step in the extraction.
In most cases, a cartridge is used once per sample, to eliminate sample-to-sample carryover.
Online SPE extraction presents multiple advantages over off-line SPE, including:
- Quantitative transfer of extracted analytes from the extraction cartridge into the UHPLC for analysis
- Vastly reduced sample handling; no dry-downs or reconstitutions, secondary operations like internal standard addition can be performed unattended and automatically, samples can be diluted and mixed by the instrument, etc.
- Online SPE offers the most efficient and fullest degree of automation available for sample extraction followed by HPLC or UHPLC.
The CHRONECT ACE is available in four primary configurations:
- 1 A single clamp system with a pressure limit of 300 bar (CHRONECT ACE Single)
- 2 A single clamp system with a pressure limit of 1000 bar (CHRONECT ACE Single HP). This allows for online UHPLC elution from the cartridge (requires special PEEK cartridges which have a similar pressure-rating for this usage)
- 3 A double clamp system with pressure limits of 300 bar on each clamp (CHRONECT ACE Dual)
- 4 A double clamp system with pressure limits of 1000 bar on each clamp (CHRONECT ACE Dual HP)
The high-pressure capabilities of the CHRONECT ACE permit the use of microparticulate extraction packings, thus making the cartridge performance highly-compatible with that of the analytical column, and allowing the use of smaller sorbent beds due to higher capture efficiency of microparticulates.
Finally… online SPE readily allows 2-dimensional SPE/UHPLC extraction/separations; with a CHRONECT ACE Dual, even 3-D procedures may be performed, with fresh cartridges for every step.
CHRONECT ACE Summary Specifications:
- Disposable SPE cartridges sealed up to 300 or 1000 bar (with high-pressure clamp option)
- Single or Dual clamps
- Single use or re-use of SPE cartridge – your choice
- Wide range of SPE chemistries (see CHRONECT HySphere section HERE)
- Standard capacity - two trays of 96 cartridges each
CHRONECT HPD Mix
The CHRONECT HPD Mix is a high-pressure, high-performance syringe-driven pumping system.
CHRONECT HPD comes standard with a single Solvent Selector Module (SSM), which allows for the selection of up to 6 different solvents. The syringe valve itself has an additional 2 ports available, giving a total selection of 8 solvents. Any 2 of these solvents can also be mixed prior to delivery (thus extending the range of all possible solvents using 8 discreet channels). A second SSM may be added as an option, to increase individual solvent channels to 13 total.
The primary function of the CHRONECT HPD Mix is to deliver extraction protocol solvents to the SPE cartridge during sample extraction/purification (i.e, the series of solvents employed in the unique steps of any given extraction procedure).
The high-pressure capabilities of the CHRONECT HPD Mix facilitate the use of microparticulate cartridges (i.e., CHRONECT HySphere cartridges). With an upper pressure limit of 300 bar (~4,400 psi), CHRONECT HPD can process cartridges down to < 5 um in size, with precision and accuracy.
The HPD may also be used to:
- Transfer analytes from an extraction cartridge to the analytical column (peak focusing)
- Transfer analytes from an extraction cartridge to a second cartridge (“2-D extraction”; done with a CHRONECT ACE Dual)
- Transfer analytes from an extraction cartridge directly into a mass spectrometer, other detector, or fraction collector
- Perform pre-column reagent addition (online derivatization)
- Perform post-column reagent addition (e.g., derivatization for detection enhancement)
- Support any application requiring flows from 0.1- 10mL per minute, and/or high backpressure
CHRONECT HPD Mix Summary Specifications:
- Accurate volume delivery at controlled flow rates
- Independent of backpressure up to 300 Bar
- Selects from 8-13 solvents…or samples!
- On-line solvent mixing
CHRONOS Symbiosis Software
All CHRONECT Symbiosis systems available from iChrom are under operational control of the advanced CHRONOS Symbiosis software, a platform developed by Axel Semrau®. CHRONOS controls the entire system in an efficient and intelligent way, and enhances sample throughput by performing overlapping processes.
Most chromatographic processes in analytical laboratories use autosamplers. The purpose of these samplers – and automation in general - is to increase throughput without the need for additional personnel. Until now, samples have been processed strictly in linear sequence, and often require dedicated personnel for sample prep.
One result of this is lost time due to lack of analyzer use while samples are prepared.
CHRONOS recaptures this lost time, by increasing the active measuring time of the analyzers, and therefore considerably raising the efficiency – and throughput - of the laboratory.
Parallel Processes for Sample Preparation
CHRONOS software facilitates parallel processes for sample preparation and analysis. Using CHRONOS, a new sample cartridge is prepared, while the chromatographic analysis of the previous sample is performed.
In addition, CHRONOS organizes the connection to the mass spectrometer control and data system. Thus all CHRONECT Symbiosis Systems are capable of processing multiple batches - even across multiple assays – quickly and reliably, with the highest analytical performance… fully unattended.
In addition, CHRONOS allows for seamless, single-table sample queues in numerous commercial mass spectrometer data acquisition and control software packages.
CHRONOS employs a clear, user-friendly interface, which minimizes the number of parameters that need to be changed; relevant values are recorded in tabular form, and only those values requiring change need be edited. This means a complete sample list can be generated conveniently in only a few steps.
A graphic representation of the sample processing is created at the touch of a button; overall duration and current progress can readily be followed in real time. Multi-stage sample preparation procedures can be run in parallel by means of an integrated algorithm. Here also, it is possible to call up a graphic representation of the sequence of events.
CHRONOS combines the sample list for the PAL autosampler control with the MS data system list, so the user only has to administer one list. This simplifies queue handling and avoids errors which could be caused with multiple sample tables.
CHRONOS Symbiosis Summary Specifications:
(NOTE – only those specifications applying to CHRONECT Symbiosis Systems and components, as well as connections to commercial mass spectrometers, are itemized here. For a full list of all CHRONOS features and capabilities, contact Axel Semrau, GmbH & Co.)
- Control of multiple PALs including PAL RTC and available PAL Options
- Support of DualPAL systems
- Support of Gilson dilutors for sample dilutions
- Support of 2D Barcode Reader from Axel Semrau
- Support of IKA-Shaker
- Support of Bandelin Digitec Ultrasonic Bath
- Support of ZPL Printer
- Support of IKA RCT Heater/Stirrer plates
- Programmability of Valco valves over a serial interface
- Call up external programs for data interpretation from within the method
- Management of multiple sample lists
- Management of priority samples
- Customizable sample list for easy user interface adjustments
- Easy navigation through bundling of tasks
- Comfortable functions to create task lists
- Free choice of units with helpful proposals
- Simple cut/copy/paste functions
- Automatic reports permit fast control
- Optimized time sequence, especially in combination with the barcode reader
- CSV import options, e.g. for LIMS integration
- Simple PDF generation from the method
- Access to xlsx files - in reading and editing mode
- Improved keyboard control within the sample list
- Extended printing options and improved printout of sample lists
- Ability to send SMS messages
- Interfaces to many external software packages
Applicable Chromatography and MS Data Systems
- Sciex Analyst 1.41 and higher
- Bruker MS Workstation 8.2
- Waters MassLynx 4.1
- Thermo Omnic 9
- Agilent Masshunter B07, B06 (GC)
- Agilent Masshunter LC
- DataAppex Clarity Vs. 3.0 and higher
- Shimadzu Labsolutions
- Chromperfect 6.0.1 and higher
- GL Sciences Evolution Workstation
- Thermo Xcalibur 1.4 up to 188.8.131.52, LC and GC
- Agilent Chemstation, GC, LC and MSD
- Open Lab Chemstation C01.06 und C01.07
- EZChrom Vs. 3.21 and higher
- Import and export of sequences in ChemStation and Xcalibur or cvs-format
- Direct integration in LIM-Systems from ICD