Chemometric-assisted method development in hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography: A review
With an enormous growth in the application of hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC), there has also been significant progress in HILIC method development. HILIC is a chromatographic method that utilises hydro-organic mobile phases with a high organic content, and a hydrophilic stationary phase. It has been applied predominantly in the determination of small polar compounds. Theoretical studies in computer-aided modelling tools, most importantly the predictive, quantitative structure retention relationship (QSRR) modelling methods, have attracted the attention of researchers and these approaches greatly assist the method development process. This review focuses on the application of computer-aided modelling tools in understanding the retention mechanism, the classification of HILIC stationary phases, prediction of retention times in HILIC systems, optimisation of chromatographic conditions, and description of the interaction effects of the chromatographic factors in HILIC separations. Additionally, what has been achieved in the potential application of QSRR methodology in combination with experimental design philosophy in the optimisation of chromatographic separation conditions in the HILIC method development process is communicated. Developing robust predictive QSRR models will undoubtedly facilitate more application of this chromatographic mode in a broader variety of research areas, significantly minimising cost and time of the experimental work.