Paola Dugo1, Katia Arena1, Francesco Cacciola2, Luigi Mondello1
1University of Messina, Dipartimento CHIBIOFARAM, polo Annunziata, 98168 Messina, Italy
Natural products and vegetable extracts are rich source of bioactive molecules such as flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and so on. Although many studies have been carried out on the chemical characterization of these samples, there is still much interest in the detection of novel bioactive compounds. Conventional one-dimensional liquid chromatography (1D-LC) does usually provide sufficient resolving power for their determination. However, in many cases, their complexity is so high that the separation capability offered by 1D-LC is not enough thus requiring more powerful analytical technologies for both their characterization and quantification. Comprehensive two-dimensional LC (LC×LC) involving the coupling of two or more orthogonal or quasi-orthogonal separation systems is an interesting alternative capable, through its selectivity and sensitivity, to detect minor components.
For the analysis of natural products and vegetable extracts, different LC×LC methodologies including NP×RP, RP×RP and HILIC×RP have been successfully investigated. In this contribution, applications of MicroLC×LC in the field of natural products are reported and discussed.