ACE™| Automated Cartridge Exchange

The CHRONECT ACE Module is the heart of the online-SPE stage of all CHRONECT Symbiosis systems.

The CHRONECT ACE employs a purpose-built robotic system which reliably picks up and moves the cartridge into an active location, where the cartridge is immobilized within a flow-through, pressure-resistant mechanism (the “Clamp”). The Clamp is connected to a fluidic switching valve (or multiple valves in the CHRONECT ACE Dual) allowing for routing of both extraction protocol solvents, and UHPLC mobile phase solvents, in order to:

  • execute the sample extraction protocol necessary for the assay being performed, and
  • allow for elution into the analytical column as the final step in the extraction.

In most cases, a cartridge is used once per sample, to eliminate sample-to-sample carryover.


Key Features

  • Disposable SPE cartridges sealed up to 300 or 1000 bar (with high-pressure clamp option)
  • Single or Dual clamps
  • Single use or re-use of SPE cartridge – your choice
  • Wide range of SPE chemistries (see CHROSPE section HERE)
  • Standard capacity – two trays of 96 cartridges each




Installation class II 
Pollution degree 2
Operating environment Indoor use only
Operating temperature  5 – 40°C
Operating humidity  20 – 80% RH
Operating altitude up to 2000m
Transport and storage temperature  -30 – 60°C
Transport and storage humidity  Max. 85% RH
Sound pressure level LAeq <70 dB


Dimensions (W x H x D) 300 x 260 x 470 mm
Weight 19 kg
Stackable weight (max weight on top) 30 kg


Power requirements 100 – 240VAC, 50/60Hz
Power consumption 200 VA
Fuses 2 x 2.5AT, 250V, 1500A breaking capacity IEC60127-2, UL recognized


Digital input and output (EXTERNAL IO) 4 programmable TTL inputs 4 programmable relays outputs max. 28 V – 0,25 A
Communication port (SL IN/OUT) RS232 (Multilink)
Ethernet CAT 5e shielded cable (dedicated instrument network recommended)
Maximum length for RS232 and IO cables is 3 m  


Capacity in ACE 2 x 96 cartridges
Tray 8 x 12 well plate format (96 x 128 mm) Built-in transponder: ID and cartridge usage
Cartridge dimensions Standard: 10 x 2 mm (L x ID); 10 x 1 mm 
Internal volume 30 μL (10 x 2 mm), 8 μL (10 x 1 mm)
Sieve pore size 1 μm
Max. pressure 300 bar (4350 psi)
Wetted materials PVDF (body), stainless steel (sieve)

Dedicated functions of the CHRONECT ACE

  • To handle the CHROSPE cartridges used for the online SPE extraction, transferring them from their holding trays to the active cartridge locations, and back to the trays upon extraction completion
  • 2To route the flow of SPE extraction-protocol solvents from the HPD delivery system, in order to ensure accurate and reproducible sample extractions
  • 3To switch the cartridge online and offline (into and out of) the UHPLC mobile phase flow, allowing extracted analytes to be eluted from the cartridge and onto the analytical column
  • 4In the case of the CHRONECT ACE Dual (having two independent cartridge positions), the unit can shuttle cartridges as needed, back and forth between the two different cartridge positions

Online SPE extraction presents multiple advantages over off-line SPE

  • Quantitative transfer of extracted analytes from the extraction cartridge into the UHPLC for analysis
  • Vastly reduced sample handling; no dry-downs or reconstitutions, secondary operations like internal standard addition can be performed unattended and automatically, samples can be diluted and mixed by the instrument, etc.
  • Online SPE offers the most efficient and fullest degree of automation available for sample extraction followed by HPLC or UHPLC.

CHRONECT ACE is available in four primary configurations

  • 1A single clamp system with a pressure limit of 300 bar (CHRONECT ACE Single)
  • 2A single clamp system with a pressure limit of 1000 bar (CHRONECT ACE Single HP). This allows for online UHPLC elution from the cartridge (requires special PEEK cartridges which have a similar pressure-rating for this usage)
  • 3A double clamp system with pressure limits of 300 bar on each clamp (CHRONECT ACE Dual)
  • 4A double clamp system with pressure limits of 1000 bar on each clamp (CHRONECT ACE Dual HP)

The high-pressure capabilities of the CHRONECT ACE permit the use of microparticulate extraction packings, thus making the cartridge performance highly-compatible with that of the analytical column, and allowing the use of smaller sorbent beds due to higher capture efficiency of microparticulates.  Finally… online SPE readily allows 2-dimensional SPE/UHPLC extraction/separations; with a CHRONECT ACE Dual, even 3-D procedures may be performed, with fresh cartridges for every step.


System Components

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