About the application
Q: Can I use this chromatographic application for unknown compounds?
A: Yes, Mchrom Scout allows developing projects for peaks that can be tracked (named) and for mixtures of unknown number and nature of components (unnamed). Both types of projects adopt a common workflow. The application will guide you to the actions and specifics of each type of project.
Q: Do I need to know about statistics to perform optimizations?
A: Having a basic or intermediate knowledge of statistics is always convenient for the analytical chemist. However, Mchrom Scout has been developed to become an easy tool in the chromatographic laboratory.
Results are presented mostly using graphs (in some cases with additional supporting tables). These graphs allow a rapid, intuitive and easy interpretation and evaluation of the results.
In this way, the chromatographer is focused mainly on the conclusions allowing to take accurate decisions) and not in the evaluation of statistical tests and complex data tables.
Unique tools have been developed to materialize this strategy (e.g. the selectivity plots to evaluate the quality of chromatograms when using mass detectors or the graphing tools helping the management of Pareto front solutions in Pareto optimality processes, etc.).
Q: Where can I find some documentation to get me started?
A: You can find a starting guide, a white paper and some other tutorials about Mchrom Scout in the resources page*.
Q: Who should be using this tool?
A: Mchrom Scout is a highly versatile tool designed for the chromatography laboratory. The aim is to help both, the experienced chromatographer as well as for people with limited chromatography training.
Great care has been taken to create a user friendly interface. The workflow has been homogenized in such a way to interface different project types. Thus a standard GUI accross different projects makes the learning curve very easy.
Method development in chromatography is a common activity in different work environments such as the research & development groups in academia or industry, quality control, product safety control, new product development, consumer protection, etc.
A bit more technical about the functionality
Q: What’s the engine behind this optimization?
A: Mchrom Scout uses fast and efficient evolutionary algorithms specifically developed for chromatographic optimization processes. These automated processes do not exclude manual interaction when required by the chromatographer.
Several parameters in the evolutionary algorithm can be changed by the user. However the application uses convenient default parameters for most unattended processes. This helps the chromatographer to not to worry about the optimization engine.
Q: What do you mean by two “extra” validation runs?
A: Experimental designs proposed by Mchrom Scout include at least two runs that will be used to test the regression model accuracy and reliability.
These “extra” validation runs will never enter into the model calculations acting as external validation runs. Simulations reliability cannot be supported only in the goodness of fit for calibration runs. This fact tends to provide overoptimistic results. Improved reliability should be obtained at the price of some extra runs. In any case, these extra runs can be omitted by the user if required.