Conspicuous by its absence in the article “50 Years of HPLC” (C&EN, June 13, page 28) was the role played by Technicon Instruments Corp. Having been employed there for 18 years and being among the many who contributed to multiple approaches to automation in general and to high-performance liquid chromatography in particular, I feel the need to identify some of the more significant hardware for sample preparation. As most chromatographers know, more time is spent getting a sample ready for introduction into the column than for the actual analysis.
Technicon is probably best remembered for its AutoAnalyzer—an instrument using air-segmented continuous-flow technology to perform simultaneous analyses for multiple components in clinical samples at rates such as 60 per hour. All of the so-called unit operations have been automated: disintegration of tablets, dissolution, filtration, extraction, evaporation to dryness, distillation, dilution, and dialysis. Various combinations of these modules have been successfully employed for precolumn sample cleanup and for postcolumn derivatization.
In 1979 Technicon won an I-R 100 award for FAST-LC (fully automated sample treatment for liquid chromatography), which was the brainchild of Tony Pietrantonio. The list of analyses using FAST-LC is far too long for inclusion here. But I could be persuaded to offer a paper identifying a significant number of publications and presentations that demonstrated the successful use of FAST-LC.
Donald A. Burns
Los Alamos, N.M.
July 4, page 13: A news story about the start-up Modern Meadow should have stated that the company calls its product biofabricated leather, not cultured leather. In addition, contrary to what the story and an outside analyst said, the company says its process is animal-free. Lastly, a quote attributed to Modern Meadow Chief Executive Officer Andras Forgacs should have been attributed to Chief Technology Officer David Williamson.