Trapping - What is it? What are traps and how are they used?
The term "trap column" or "trap cartridge" refers to a packed bed with a suitable capacity to completely retain a given amount of target analyte within a sample. Trapping is often used in conjunction with mass spectrometry - the trap serves to clean up (and/or pre-concentrate) the analyte, while the MS handles detection and identification. The MS can also make up for low separation resolution and column efficiency which would not be acceptable with other modes of detection. In return for the trade-off in resolution, trap cartridges offer greatly reduced analysis time (a benefit common to all short/fast bed formats).
- Sample cleanup ("trap and dump”), desalting
- LC separations on the MS timescale
- Separation of a mixture of proteins
- Trap cartridges as sample pre-concentrators (off-line and on-line)
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