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The Pursuit family of columns

Pursuit columns are a family of exceptionally high ligand density bonded phases on ultra high purity Type B silica that deliver:

  • Performance
  • Ruggedness
  • Extended pH range

The Pursuit XRs and 200A based Pursuit share similar family attributes. However, they can be differentiated by features and benefits as described below. The main decision point comes when the customer decides if separation speed is needed as in the case of LC/MS or resolution is the key property such as when using HPLC with UV detection. The two phases compliment each other by spanning the range of customer needs.

For speed, Pursuit columns are positioned for LC/MS and other high-throughput applications. Built on the larger 200A pore silica, high ligand density delivers up to 40% faster separations without sacrificing resolution. This is accomplished by optimizing mass transfer with the larger pore.

If you customer needs load and resolution, Pursuit XRs columns are positioned for performance in AR&D, QC and preparative applications. Combining the high ligand density with a smaller 100A high surface area silica gives maximum loadability and method robustness/reliability. his is due to an extremely high carbon load (~25% for C18) on the surface.

Pursuit XRs columns

The Pursuit XRs line of HPLC columns is the newest addition to the Pursuit family of HPLC columns. The XRs combines the high phase density bonding found in all Pursuit columns with a high surface area 100A silica. Pursuit XRs delivers better resolution and reliability for the most demanding applications, from research and development (R&D) to production and quality control (QC), compared to any column in its class. Method developers will appreciate the faster development and validation of new methods, enabled through first-time resolution of complex mixtures and outstanding peak symmetry of polar compounds. Quality control laboratories will welcome the outstanding repeatability and column performance as standout benefits, while all users will value the peace of mind that comes from owning state-of-the-art performance. These customers can be found in many market segments including but not limit to pharmaceutical, environmental and food & beverage.

With Pursuit XRs your customers will see:

  • High resolution
  • Reproducible results
  • Outstanding lifetime

The 3 bonded phases of XRs each deliver a targeted set of benefits.


Pursuit XRs C18, optimized for maximum separation power, is the preferred choice for resolving complex mixtures. With a 25% carbon load and exhaustively endcapped surface, XRs C18 is the ideal 'all round' column.

Key performance benefits:

  • Maximum resolution
  • Excellent peak shape
  • Optimal retention


Pursuit XRs C8, provides enhanced selectivity for low hydrophobicity compounds and positional isomers, making it the column of choice for these challenging analytes. For routine isocratic applications, the shorter C8 ligands also generally provide faster run times than C18.

Key performance benefits:

  • Improved shape selectivity
  • More symmetrical peaks for polar analytes
  • Faster elution


Pursuit XRs Diphenyl, delivers superior resolution of aromatic compounds, eclipsing the performance of other phenyl or hydrophobic columns. The highly selective pi-pi retention mechanism, Diphenyl exploits analyte differences based on their pi-electron structure. Conventional reverse phases, such as C18 and phenyl hexyl, rely heavily on hydrophobic interactions and simply lack the selectivity power of XRs Diphenyl for aromatic compounds.

Key performance benefits:

  • Unique pi-pi selectivity
  • Enhanced resolution
  • Improved peak symmetry

Sales strategy

The Pursuit XRs product line has been developed to specifically target the needs of traditional HPLC customers. These traditional HPLC operators comprise ~70% of HPLC column consumption as compared to ~15% by LC/MS users. They can be found in AR&D and QC type groups across industries ranging from pharmaceutical to environmental to food & beverage to agriculture and beyond. Their 'point of pain' is based in the need for baseline resolution from a stable, reliable column. This is different than an LC/MS operator's needs since the MS can often provide additional 'resolution' of co-eluting peaks delivering unequivocal results. Pursuit XRs' high carbon load bonding and large surface area combine to deliver the resolution and stability these customers need.

By being attentive and addressing your sales discussions towards to the needs of this large market segment, you will find great success.

Sales arguments

For the majority of reversed phase analysis the new Pursuit XRs HPLC column will increase laboratory productivity. Analytical methods will benefit from increase in stability, reliability, and rapid method development compared to the existing column solutions.

Itís important to ask the customer the right questions to correctly understand their needs and enable you to position the correct solution. The following questions will help you to present the sales arguments that will have maximum impact.

  • What types of stationary HPLC columns are you currently using for reversed phase analysis? (brand, phase, particle size)
  • What part of the methods would you like to see improved?
  • What are the most important considerations when you 'update', develop and validate methods? (Speed, accuracy, selectivity, sensitivity, reproducibility, longevity)
  • Would it be an advantage for you if you could perform most applications on one type of column?
  • Do you have the possibility to select another brand of column within you analytical methods?
  • Is it beneficial for you to purchase your HPLC columns from one vendor?
  • Do you practice LC/MS applications?

In order to achieve adequate analytical separations many laboratories use 4-5 different types of reverse phase column. This requires the set-up and maintenance of different methods making routine operation difficult and expensive.

  • Do you think that it would be a good idea that your laboratory would standardized, for reversed phase type of analyses, on one type of column?

Pursuit XRs has a extremely high surface area, which result in highest resolution, maximum reproducibility and ultimate method robustness, which makes it applicable for wide range of analytes.

This means that new methods become easier to set-up. Plus many types of other columns, used in existing methods, can be replaced by the new Pursuit XRs columns which offers you easier method development and often analytical results will benefit from improved accuracy. For pharmaceutical applications this means that the main product and itís metabolites can be analyzed in the same run!

Validated analysis can only be achieved by using validated analytical HPLC columns.

  • Do you think it is necessary for your work to use highly reproducible and quality assured HPLC columns?

Every Pursuit XRs column is validated and we guarantee that it will perform to tight specifications. We can guarantee this because every step in the manufacture and testing of the Pursuit XRs columns is critically controlled. All sources and manufacturing processes are monitored and verifiable. Each individual column is QCíd set to the highest standards in the industry and is supplied with a certificate of analysis. This ensures that the column will can be reliably perform, column after column, batch after batch, and in different laboratories.

Which means that you improve productivity and gain major cost savings.

It is often problematic and time consuming to change a method from one column to another method. Method development is best done based on existing applications.

  • Do you think it is an advantage to be able to use this type of support in the eventual adaptation of your methods with Pursuit XRs columns?

The Pursuit XRs columns are used in a wide range of application fields, which makes implementation quite easy. Varian can support you with numerous of applications which are easy accessible through the Scan Web application database. Additionally, Varianís Technical Helpdesks provides focused support for your specific application needs.

Benefit from Varian chromatography expertise and save a lot of time adapting or developing a new method. So, whether you want a faster separation, improved accuracy or higher sample turn around you will improve your processes in a fraction of the normal time.


Comments to: hplc@varianinc.com
Last updated: 28 June 2010
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