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Technology Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
 
Protection strategy Product authentication
Type Analytical technique
System Laboratory based
Medium Medicine
Authentication/Identificaton Authentication
Traceability No
Cost Price on request
Required equipment silicate plate,
solvent,
chamber,
UV light for observation
Vertification level Laboratories;
authorities (specific equipment needed to be used on the field)
N.B.
Description Thin Layer chromatography is a technique involving the separation of the different chemical components of a product.
A “spot” of product (first dissolved in a specific solvent) is deposited at the bottom of a plate of silica. The plate is then put in a chamber saturated with the appropriate eluent. The elution is the migration of a solvent (the eluent) on the plate, the eluent diffuses upward through the stationary phase (the silicate plate) bringing with it the components of the dissolved product at different rates, the components are visibly separated. The elution needs to be stopped when the different components are sufficiently separated (usually 2cm before the top of the silicate plate). Sometimes the different migrated spots need to be revealed by vaporizing a specific solvent. Plate observation under UV or visible light (depending on the solvents used as developers).
This technique is available in kit to be used on the field.
 
Strengths Semi-quantitative;
Portable TLC kit:
low cost (in comparison with other analytical technique and device),
do not require extensive training for use;
allows rapid screening of product in the field;
 
Limitations Congeners of the parent drug cannot be discerned by the technology;
Requires specific equipment (solvents, plate, chamber, light sources);
Destruction of the packaging and the pill;
Requires reference of genuine product or the genuine product itself;
 
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