Amino acids are unique in terms of their structural features and multidimensional uses. With their simple structures and the ready availability of both enantiomers, amino acids not only serve as a chiral pool for synthesis but also provide an inexpensive pool for resolution studies. There has been no attempt to review the application of amino acids as chiral selectors for chromatographic enantioresolution of pharmaceuticals and other compounds. The present paper deals with application of l-amino acids and complexes of l-amino acids with a metal ion, particularly Cu(II), as an impregnating reagent in thin-layer chromatography or as a chiral ligand exchange reagent or a chiral mobile phase additive in both thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. Enantiomeric resolution of β-blockers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, amino acids (and their derivatives) and certain other compounds is discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.