The application of a silica hydride modified stationary phase with low organic loading has been investigated as a new type of chromatographic material suitable for the separation and analysis of peptides with electrospray ionization mass spectrometric detection. Retention maps were established to delineate the chromatographic characteristics of a series of peptides with physical properties ranging from strongly hydrophobic to very hydrophilic and encompassing a broad range of pI values (pI 5.5–9.4). The effects of low concentrations of two additives (formic acid and acetic acid) in the mobile phase were also investigated with respect to their contribution to separation selectivity and retention under comparable conditions. Significantly, strong retention of both the hydrophobic and the hydrophilic peptides was observed when high-organic low-aqueous mobile phases were employed, thus providing a new avenue to achieve high resolution peptide separations. For example, simultaneous separation of hydrophobic and hydrophilic peptides was achieved under aqueous normal phase (ANP) chromatographic conditions with linear gradient elution procedures in a single run, whilst further gradient optimization enabled improved peak efficiencies of the more strongly retained hydrophobic and hydrophilic peptides.
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