This Excel based simulator of an HPLC instrument has been developed by Dr. Davy Guillarme and colleagues from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
To create this Excel tool, the team performed > 3000 experiments in their laboratory using numerous compounds (< 35) and a wide range of experimental conditions (pH, T°, organic modifier, column chemistry, wavelength, gradient…), to model the behavior of the compounds in a highly realistic way (retention, peak shape, peak height…).
In addition, this tool also offers users the opportunity to perform hybrid practical works: the students can spend one part of their time doing HPLC experiments virtually on the calculator (without the need to perform repetitive experiments), and they can also make only a very limited number of HPLC experiments on a real instrument in the laboratory to see how an HPLC works in reality. This could help reducing the number of instruments necessary in the practical work laboratory and reducing the cost of operation.
There are two versions of the simulator available: one without macro (for those who are not allowed to use macro in Excel, for safety reasons) and one including several macros. The advantage of the macros being the ability to reset all the values to default in one click, configure the calculator to mimic standard HPLC instrument, and to configure the calculator to mimic standard UHPLC system. The authors encourage the use of the macro enabled version if possible.
Both versions of the simulator can be downloaded from their site. In addition to the simulators you will also find a Word document providing an example of a virtual practical work in HPLC that can be used with your students. It should normally require one full day for a student to do this virtual practical work including the writing of a report. It is also possible to make something totally different, based on the level of the students.