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Definition of Gas chromatography (GC)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gas chromatography (GC): A type of automated chromatography (a technique used to separate mixtures of substances) in which the mixture to be analyzed is vaporized and carried by an inert gas through a special column and thence to a detection device. The special column can contain an inert porous solid (in gas-solid chromatography) or a liquid coated on a solid support (in gas-liquid chromatography). The basic aim with GC is to separate each component that was in the mixture so that it produces a different peak in the detection device output which is graphed on a chart recorder. GC is a valuable tool in biochemistry (and other fields of chemistry, as in the analysis of perfumes).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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