Alkaloids are biologically active compounds widely used as pharmaceuticals and synthesised as secondary methabolites in plants. Many of these compounds are strongly toxic. Therefore, they are often subject of scientific interests and analysis. Since alkaloids - basic compounds appear in aqueous solutions as ionized and unionized forms, they are difficult for chromatographic separation for peak tailing, poor systems efficiency, poor separation and poor column-to-column reproducibility. For this reason it is necessity searching of more suitable chromatographic systems for analysis of the compounds. In this article we present an overview on the separation of selected alkaloids from different chemical groups by liquid chromatography thus indicating the range of useful methods now available for alkaloid analysis. Different selectivity, system efficiency and peaks shape may be achieved in different LC methods separations by use of alternative stationary phases: silica, alumina, chemically bonded stationary phases, cation exchange phases, or by varying nonaqueous or aqueous mobile phase (containing different modifier, different buffers at different pH, ion-pairing or silanol blocker reagents). Developments in TLC (NP and RP systems), HPLC (NP, RP, HILIC, ion-exchange) are presented and the advantages of each method for alkaloids analysis are discussed. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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