Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Manufacturing Technology

Portable Liquid Chromatograph

Akihiko Ishida Assistant Professor
Doctor of Engineering

Battery-powered, ultra-light, ultra-compact chemical analyzer

Using proprietary technology, we have miniaturized the pump, column and detector, all key components of liquid chromatography, realizing a compact, B5 size, lightweight and portable liquid chromatograph weighing 2 kg. This allows us to instantly obtain analysis results on the spot.

Content of research

The pump we have developed for liquid chromatography is based on electroosmotic phenomena and can operate for a long time on dry batteries. Since there is no mechanical drive, it is extremely compact and lightweight, and does not generate pulsating flow. Using microfabrication technology, the column and (electrochemical and UV) detectors are mounted on small amounts of substrate, the size of a business card. Conventional packing materials are used for the column, so the same analysis conditions as before can be applied directly without modification. The electrochemical detector uses a uniquely developed comb-shaped electrode. Although small in size, it has comparable sensitivity as conventional detectors. Liquid chromatographs currently used as the main instrument for chemical analysis are large and heavy, limiting their use to specific locations in the laboratory, but the instrument we have developed can easily be used anywhere. The amount of solvent used can also be reduced to 1/100 to 1/1000 of conventional detectors.

  • Portable liquid chromatograph

  • Chip device with integrated column and detector

  • Principle of operation of electroosmotic flow pump

  • Example of biogenic amine analysis

Potential for social implementation

  • ・Analysis of environmental water and industrial wastewater
  • ・Physicochemical tests at clinics and home-visit medical care
  • ・Process and quality inspection at production and processing sites
  • ・Use for environmental conservation in developing countries
  • ・Experiments in remote areas, polar regions, outer space, etc.
  • ・Construction of an integrated compact analytical instrument

Appealing points to industry and local governments

We are currently seeking new users of this device or new applications taking advantage of the features of this device (small, lightweight and portable). Therefore, we hope to conduct joint research with companies that have needs for which this device can be utilized. We also wish to collaborate with companies that have technologies that can potentially improve the performance of the respective components of this device and companies that are interested in downsizing chemical analysis equipment in general.

Intellectual property related to this research

特許第5935696号 「ポータブルな液体クロマトグラフ及び液体クロマトグラフィー」