Analytical Chemistry

Topino: A Graphical Tool for Quantitative Assessment of Molecular Stream Separations



In molecular-stream separation (MSS), a stream of a multi-component mixture is separated into multiple streams of individual components. Quantitative evaluation of MSS data has been a bottleneck in MSS for decades as there was no conventional way to present the data in a reproducible and uniform fashion. The roots of the problem were in the multi-dimensional nature of MSS data; even in the ideal case of steady-state separation, the data is three-dimensional: intensity and two spatial coordinates. We recently found a way to reduce the dimensionality via presenting the MSS data in a polar coordinate system and convoluting the data via integration of intensity along the radius axis. The result of this convolution is an angulagram — a simple 2D plot presenting integrated intensity vs angle. Not only does an angulagram simplify the visual assessment, but it also allows the determination of three quantitative parameters characterizing the quality of MSS: stream width, stream linearity, and stream deflection. Reliably converting an MSS image into an angulagram and accurately determining the stream parameters requires an advanced and user-friendly software tool. In this technical note, we introduce such a tool: the open-source software Topino available at Topino is a stand-alone program with a modern graphical user interface that allows processing an MSS image in a fast (<2 min) and straightforward way. The robustness and ruggedness of Topino were confirmed by comparing the results obtained by three users. Topino removes the analytical bottleneck in MSS and will be an indispensable tool for MSS users with varying levels of experience.

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Version notes

Technical Note with study on rubostness and ruggedness incl. new version of Topino 1.1 for all major platforms.


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Supplementary material

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