High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) Application and Advantages

HPTLC is the improved method of TLC which utilizes the conventional technique of TLC in a more improved way. It is also known as flat-bed or planar chromatography as the stationary phase used is flatbed like surface.

HPTLC works on the same principle of separation by adsorption as conventional TLC. The mobile phase or solvent flows through the capillary action. The analytes move according to their affinities towards the stationary phase (adsorbent). The component with more affinity towards the stationary phase travels slower and the components with less affinity towards the stationary phase travel faster.

Steps Involved in HPTLC:


  • Forensic Analysis: A challenge in forensic toxicology is the identification of unknown poisonous substances in intoxication cases. HPTLC offers rapid identification as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis for toxic substances.
  • Herbal Applications: HPTLC fingerprint technology can be used in the identification of botanical materials that are very complex in nature.
  • Food Industry: To evaluate nutrients, beverages, vitamins, and pesticides in fruit, vegetables, and other foodstuffs.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry: Used in post-production quality control. analysis of forced degradation studies, stability testing, and to check the presence of impurities in the drug.
  • Cosmetic Industry: HPTLC technique can be employed for the detection of UV filters used in the formulation of cosmetic products. The identified filter can be further confirmed using Mass Spectrometer.


  • It is a flexible, robust, and cost-effective separation techniques employed in the discovery, development, and analysis of new drugs.
  • More than one analyst can work on the system at a time.
  • Shorter developing and analysis time.
  • No prior treatment of solvents like filtration and degassing is required.
  • Fresh stationary and mobile phase is used for each analysis so no interference or contamination comes in the analytical process.
  • It can be used alone or in combination with other techniques like MS, FTIR, Densitometry.


HPTLC is the most flexible, reliable, and cost-efficient separation technique so becomes one of the most widely used methods for analysis in pharmaceutical industries. This technique is also used in clinical chemistry, forensic chemistry, biochemistry, cosmetology, food and drug analysis, environmental analysis, and other areas.


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