Category Archives: Thin Layer Chromatography

Production Manager celebrates 35 years of making Thin Layer Chromatography plates

Our Company came together recently to honor Production Manager Terry McVey for 35 years of service.Miles, McVey, Lamkin

Terry started working for Analtech, Inc. in the spring of 1975 and worked his way up the ranks to Production Manager.

Today, Terry is responsible for overseeing the production of thousands of thin layer chromatography plates every month.

Terry McVey“This company really is like family,” Terry said. “It’s great to work with such a quality team of people.”

General Manager Steven Miles said Terry is more than just a great Production Manager.

“Terry is an excellent role model,” said Miles. “If my children ever decide to come to work here, I want them learning from Terry – he is a great leader and teacher.”

Company Marks one year of four-day work weeks

We just issued the following Press Release – seriously – four day work weeks are the way to go:


NEWARK, DE – Analtech, Inc., the only U.S. manufacturer of thin layer chromatography plates and equipment, marks one year of operating on a four-day work schedule this week.

Since the company started in 1961, Analtech has manufactured thin layer chromatography plates for eight hours a day, five days a week.
But, starting in May of 2009, the company switched to working four days a week for ten hours each.

“Our company started our ‘Lean Journey’ with the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership in 2008,” said General Manager Steven C. Miles. “In addition to streamlining our manufacturing process, we started looking at every aspect of our business in a new light, so when we heard about the state of Utah switching to a four-day work week, we thought it was worth a try.”

“After coordinating with our customers, suppliers, freight carriers, mail carriers, and others, we changed our operating hours the first week of May last year,” said Miles.

A Significant Change

More than half of Analtech’s 17 employees have been working with the company for more than 20 years. The company decided to move to a four-day work week on a trial basis at first.
“This was certainly something new,” said Production Manager Terry McVey. “I wasn’t sure how well this would work at first, but the results have been encouraging across the board.”

“The results we’re seeing are similar to what we’ve heard from the state of Utah,” said Miles. “Productivity and morale – both measured pretty high before the transition – improved even more, absenteeism is down and we’re seeing savings in our energy bills.”

More Benefits

Micky Jones, Human Resources Manager for Analtech, says there’s more benefits to the change in work hours.
“By cutting down on our energy use and requiring our team to only commute four days a week instead of five, I believe we’re benefiting the local environment,” said Jones. “Add to that the improved work/life balance for the team, and this looks like a win-win-win situation.”
Coincidentally, as Analtech marks one year of four-day weeks inspired by reports from the state of Utah, the May, 2010 edition of Readers Digest has an article about 25 ideas that will improve your life – number two on the list is the four-day work week:

You can thank the recession for starting the conversation about better ways to work, says Rex Facer, a management professor at Brigham Young University. After Utah became the first state to mandate a four-day week for most of its employees, Facer found that workers, who received the same salary either way, preferred four longer days to five shorter ones and called in sick less often. The state also saw its bills slashed: Fewer miles on state vehicles provided $1.4 million in savings, while less overtime and sick leave cut another $4.1 million. Although four days don’t work for everyone, the trend is expected to grow. Cities like Birmingham, Alabama, and Melbourne Beach, Florida, recently began offering Monday-to-Thursday schedules to some workers, and research suggests that more than a third of U.S. employers-including recent convert General Motors-now give the option. “It’s a way to attract and retain talented employees,” says Facer.

Click Here for link to the Readers Digest article.

# # #


High School Students learning TLC/Forensics in England

These excerpts come from TivertonPeople in the UK:Tiverton High School students

In a partnership between the science departments at Petroc in Tiverton and Tiverton High School, seventy-five Year 10 High School pupils spent a morning in the Petroc laboratories with some of the college’s BTEC Forensic Science and A Level students performing a programme of tests and analysis. 

The activities were based around techniques that are used in a wide variety of scientific settings such as blood typing of a suspects’ blood samples, and blood found at a crime scene, thin layer chromatography of pink lipstick to identify all the different coloured pigments that are found in this lipstick and Titrations to determine the Vitamin C concentration of a range of Apple juices found in the supermarket.

Lynda Broomhead, science lecturer at Petroc said: “Both staff and students from the High School were very positive about the benefits of this event.”

Click Here to read the complete article.

Chromatography featured on Forensics Blog

We just discovered a great new blog dedicated specifically to Forensics.

A recent post caught our eye:

Chromatography – A Powerful Tool For Forensics

Here’s some excerpts:

What this process allows, among various other benefits, is the precise separation of complex chemical mixtures using a color-coded matrix. The identification of chemicals by means of a color code has made chromatography very popular, especially at potentially messy forensic crime scenes.
Usually, the application of chromatography in a laboratory setting involves passing a mixture through a series of phases. The mixture passes from a mobile phase, through a stationary phase, and results in the isolation of the desired molecule or compound.

The uses of chromatography are varied and accurate, making it a perfect match for law enforcement. As the forensic specialists forge forward with their investigations, stay tuned to your favorite crime show. You may hear them mention, as the dramatic music crescendos and your favorite stars pretend to be concerned, a chromatographical process.

Click Here to read the full post

Of course we can’t let this opportunity go without another look at Thin Layer Chromatography being used in the popular television show “CSI”

University of Delaware Class on Thin Layer Chromatography

Karen Brinker and Leslie Allshouse graciously allowed us to join them recently as they led their University of Delaware

UD class

Clinical Physiological Chemistry II class through a drug testing procedure using Thin Layer Chromatography.

Unfortunately, our sound engineer was off his game that day – the background noise you hear in the video is blow driers being used to dry the TLC plates.

Many thanks to Karen and Leslie for letting us be a part of the class! 

LCGC’s “The Column” Cover Story: Unlocking the doors with TLC

The new issue of LCGC’s “The Column” features a great The columncover story on Thin Layer Chromatography. The article, written by Analtech Technical Director Ned Dugan, explores the many ways TLC is being used.

The article focuses on some key examples:

  • Fighting the Scourge of Counterfeit Medications
  • Protecting Infants from Patulin Contamination
  • Identifying a new nucleotide in human DNA
  • Identifying the H1N1 Virus
  • Use in Forensic Science

Click Here to see the entire issue.

Thin Layer Chromatography used in cancer research

We picked up this application of Thin Layer Chromatography from

While they haven’t exactly discovered a cure for cancer, what Hughes and Arauza did over the summer months does have quite a bit of value — both in terms of scientific research and in their own personal education and edification…

The pair technically started their research in the spring 2009 term after learning in November that they were chosen for the program. They spent the spring doing an extensive literature review once they chose a topic from the umbrella of choices they were presented.

They chose to follow a path started by May 2009 graduate Joanne Jacob, who had experimented with 12 different herbs and their effect on tumor growth in mice. One in particular had significant results in Jacob’s research, and the two coeds decided to further check out Ashwagandha, commonly known as Indian Ginseng and used by many to treat depression, inflammation and neurological disorders.

Using a powdered form of the root, Hughes and Arauza first rinsed it to remove any lipids, then ran a 6-hour process known as a Soxhlet to liquify the extract into a more usable form. Gray likened the process to a drip coffee maker, where heated water (or in this case methanol) runs through the extract and then back through repeatedly until it is complete.

Using thin-layer chromatography on glass plates, the team was able to separate the extract into various compounds. Through nearly 30 plates — a time-consuming process itself — the duo was able to identify one particular compound that was strong every time. They eluded the compound from the plate and tested it on 4T1 breast cancer cells grown in Petri dishes to determine how it would affect the cells.

The results were astonishing.

“This was really annihilating the breast cancer cells,” noted Arauza, pointing to a chart of the results that showed the cell growth was dramatically reduced compared to even the full extract. “This one was very potent; none of the others were even close.”

Click Here to read the complete story.

Ned Dugan featured in TLC Forum

Analtech’s Technical Director, Ned Dugan, is featured in aNed Dugan, Technical Director recently posted Technology Forum on Thin Layer Chromatography on LCGC’s Chromatography Online.

Here’s an excerpt:

What advantages does TLC have over other methods for pharmaceutical analysis?

Dugan: In some ways, TLC can offer obvious advantages to other methods for analysis. Usually TLC is simpler, faster, more environmentally friendly, and significantly less expensive than other forms of analysis. Minimal sample preparation is required and solvent consumption is comparatively low. In addition, TLC is a very simple and forgiving method of analysis. If a mistake is made, very little time or resources are wasted.

In other ways, TLC can be the perfect compliment to other methods of analysis. Besides the fact that TLC is used as an inexpensive pilot method for establishing separation protocols, there are many hyphenated chromatography techniques that involve TLC. 

Click Here to read the complete forum.