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Science and Technology

A Look Into the Science and Technology Behind LightLab

LightLab, designed for portability and ease-of-use, delivers lab-grade accuracy anytime, anywhere using advanced science and technology. LightLab applies HPLC science (high performance liquid chromatography) which separates cannabinoids, spectroscopy which uses light to analyze a sample’s compounds, and linear regression mathematics to calculate sample results.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is typically used by analytical testing laboratories to analyze cannabis and mushroom samples. 

How Does It Work?

HPLCs push an extracted cannabis sample through a column. The column separates the cannabinoids in the sample by slowing down cannabinoids by different amounts based on their affinity to the column. This allows each cannabinoid to exit the column at a different time. For example, CBD may exit the column first, then D9THC, and so on. Once the column separates the cannabinoids, they move to the next step in the analytical process: spectroscopy. 

Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy uses light to measure the analytical composition of compounds. LightLab borrows spectroscopy technology from the Curiosity Mars Rover, providing an accurate and dependable analysis every time. 

How Does It Work?

During the analytical process, the sample flows between a light source and a detector. The detector will quantify how much light is getting through the sample. Since every cannabinoid has a particular light absorption signature LightLab can provide quantitative measurements.  

Chromatograms & Calculations

When LightLab analyzes a sample, it separates cannabinoids over time and detects them with UV light at several wavelengths. An HPLC works in much of the same way, though in many cases only one wavelength of light is utilized. In a standard HPLC, the chromatogram shows peaks that represent different analytes; the area of the analyte is correlated with the concentration of that analyte. 

While LightLab uses the chromatogram as part of its analysis, the calculation is not a strict peak area calculation. Instead, LightLab uses a sophisticated multi-dimensional, non-linear regression to calculate results. This algorithm uses multiple UV wavelengths along with the chromatogram to determine the final results. This allows for more robust and accurate measurement of cannabinoids even with challenging environmental conditions and complex samples.

Selective Separation Column Technology

LightLab’s proprietary Selective Separation Column technology does sample cleanup for you. Traditional HPLC analysis requires technically trained users, specialized tools, expensive solvents, and time-consuming preparations to avoid damaging expensive columns. LightLab’s column design does a double duty of separation and cleanup.

Samples are easily prepared and, in some cases, can be analyzed with no sample preparation. Simple sample preparation removes errors and results in higher accuracy, especially at the production line.