Liquid chromatographic resolution of natural and racemic Cinchona alkaloid analogues using strong cation- and zwitterion ion-exchange type stationary phases. Qualitative evaluation of stationary phase characteristics and mobile phase effects on stereoselectivity and retention

Attila Bajtai, István Ilisz, Antal Péter, Wolfgang Lindner

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Liquid chromatographic (LC) and subcritical fluid chromatographic (SFC) resolution of the basic natural and synthetic Cinchona alkaloid analogues has been studied. Focus has been placed on the employment of four enantiomerically structured chiral strong cation-exchangers and four chiral diastereoisomeric Cinchona alkaloid and cyclohexyl aminosulfonic acid-based zwitterionic ion-exchangers. Except for the novel, recently synthesized racemic quinine the other investigated pairs of basic analytes are diastereomeric, but often called “pseudoenantiomeric” compounds of quinine and quinidine, cinchonidine and cinchonine, 9‑epi‑quinine and 9‑epi‑quinidine. As expected, the elution order of the resolved racemic quinine was reversed for all the eight investigated enantiomeric and (pseudo)enantiomeric pairs of chiral stationary phases, whereas this was not necessarily the case for the diastereomeric pairs of the Cinchona alkaloid related analytes. Varying the type and composition of the protic (methanol) and non-protic (acetonitrile) but polar bulk solvents in combination with organic salt additives in the mobile phase the overall retention and stereoselectivity characteristics could be triggered, leading to well performing LC and SFC systems. Thus the retention behavior of the basic analytes on both the chiral cation-exchangers and the diastereomeric zwitterionic ion-exchangers, used as cation-exchangers, could be described by the stoichiometric displacement model related to the counter-ion effect of the mobile phase additives. In addition, it became obvious that the non-protic acetonitrile compared to methanol as bulk solvent lead to a significant increase in retention, which can be associated with an increased electrostatic interaction of the charged sites due to a smaller solvation shell of the solvated cationic and anionic species. Based on the chromatographic results of the systematically selected chiral analytes and stationary phases attempts were undertaken to interpret qualitatively the observed stereoselectivity phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Article number460498
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - Jan 4 2020



  • Cinchona alkaloids
  • Enantioseparation
  • HPLC
  • SFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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