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Chromatography Column: new downloadable SystemModeler example

Posted 5 years ago
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Using SystemModeler, we usually study dynamical systems whose behavior changes with respect to time. Many systems are not only time dependent, but also dependent on a position in a geometrical space. A new Modelica example shows how one such system, a chromatography column can be modeled using SystemModeler and Mathematica.

Chromatography diagram

The idea behind column chromatography is that different substances will travel at different rates through the column. The rates will be dependent on physical properties of the substances, such as molecular size or charge. A mix of substances injected into the column will, under the right conditions, have become separated when exiting the column.

This is useful for analytical reasons, where you want to be able to distinguish the concentrations of each substance in a mix. Chromatography can also be used to extract and purify a substance of interest from a mix of substances.

The example shows the chromatography column being used to analyze a biochemical reaction. With the simulation results imported into Mathematica, the inside of the chromatography column can be visualized. If a refractive index sensor or a similar detector is placed as the end of the column, the elution can be studied continuously. Using the simulation results, the elution profile can be augmented with how much each substance contributes to the peaks.

Elution animation

The diagram provided above can be viewed interactively by downloading the CDF attached to this post while the complete Modelica model, Mathematica code and instructions can be found at the SystemModeler site, here.

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