Electrospun Nano-fiber Plates for Chromatography and Solid Phase Micro-extraction

Ultra-thin layer chromatography plates that offer faster and more efficient separation of compound mixtures

The Need

Both thin layer chromatography (TLC) and ultra-thin layer chromatography (UTLC) plates are used widely in academia and industry to identify separate compounds in a mixture. However, there exists little variety in existing plates available, which limits researchers when identifying compounds quickly and efficiently. If the existing plates were improved, academia and industry could avoid running multiple chromatography tests, shorten the length of testing time, and test a greater number of compounds per plate. Ultimately, an improvement in separation techniques could save time and money.

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. Susan Olesik, developed a novel method to create new fibers for use in TLC, UTLC and solid phase microextraction (SPME). The fibers are used to observe what chemicals may be present and in what quantity after having contact with compounds. When compared to existing non-aligned electrospun fibers, there is a tenfold increase in performance as Dr. Olesik's electrospun fibers with the mobile phase velocities are three times higher than in commercial and 1.5 - 2 times faster than non-aligned electrospun and display a greater run-to-run reproducibility. In addition, improvements such as increased sample capacity and surface area ultimately allow for greater detection of compounds.

Commercial Applications

  • Food science
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Environmental
  • Clinical
  • Biotechnology


  • Easy production of nanoscale phases
  • Ease of control over mat thickness
  • Minimal amount of materials and development time required
  • Decreasing the manufacturing cost of the fibers

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