An Introduction to Planar Chromatography and Its Application to Natural Products Isolation

Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) is an easy, inexpensive, rapid, and the most widely used method for the analysis and isolation of small organic natural and synthetic products. It also has use in the biological evaluation of organic compounds, particularly in the areas of antimicrobial and antioxidant metabolites and for the evaluation of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which have utility in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The ease and inexpensiveness of use of this technique, coupled with the ability to rapidly develop separation and bioassay protocols will ensure that TLC will be used for some considerable time alongside conventional instrumental methods. This chapter deals with the basic principles of TLC and describes methods for the analysis and isolation of natural products. Examples of methods for isolation of several classes of natural product are detailed and protocols for TLC bioassays are given.

Year prepared: 

2012