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Automating Column Chromatography Protein Purification

Column chromatography for protein purification is a technique used to isolate and purify specific proteins from complex mixtures. It involves passing a solution containing the proteins through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material. The proteins interact with this material in different ways, allowing them to be separated based on their physical and chemical properties, such as size, charge, and hydrophobicity.

Automating the Column Chromatography Protein Purification Process

Automation can be achieved using systems like liquid handling robots and automated chromatography systems. These systems can be programmed to handle sample loading, washing, elution, and collection steps with high precision and consistency.


Benefits of Automation over Manual Pipetting

Automation Resources

Opentrons helps you automate Column Chromatography Protein Purification with open-source protocols for the OT-2 and Opentrons Flex

Applications Requiring Column Chromatography Protein Purification


Pharmaceutical Protein Production

Column chromatography is pivotal in the pharmaceutical industry for the production of therapeutic proteins, such as monoclonal antibodies, hormones like insulin, and vaccines. The ability to purify large quantities of biologically active proteins with high purity is crucial for the safety and efficacy of these pharmaceutical products. The scalability and reproducibility of column chromatography make it an indispensable tool in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process, where meeting stringent regulatory standards is as important as the efficacy of the product itself.

Research and Diagnostics

In research laboratories, column chromatography is a fundamental technique for studying protein structure, function, and interactions. It allows scientists to isolate proteins from complex mixtures, enabling detailed studies such as enzyme kinetics, protein folding, and post-translational modifications. In diagnostics, specific proteins associated with diseases can be isolated and identified using affinity chromatography, aiding in the development of diagnostic markers and assays. The versatility and precision of column chromatography in separating and analyzing proteins underpin its critical role in advancing our understanding of biological processes and disease mechanisms.

Food Industry

The food industry employs column chromatography for the purification of enzymes, flavor compounds, and colorants used in food processing. Chromatography is used in the quality control of food products, ensuring that additives or residues are within permissible limits. The ability to purify and analyze these components with high specificity and efficiency is essential for maintaining the quality, safety, and consistency of food products, making column chromatography a key tool in the food industry’s technological arsenal.

Column Chromatography Protein Purification has never been easier

The OT-2 is a bench-top liquid handler designed to be accessible and flexible enough to automate many common applications.

Methods of Column Chromatography Protein Purification


Ion Exchange Chromatography (IEX)

Method of separating proteins based on their charge. It exploits the differences in the net charge of proteins at a specific pH. Proteins with a charge opposite to that of the chromatographic media bind, while others flow through.



Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)

Size Exclusion Chromatography, also known as gel filtration, separates proteins based on their size. Larger molecules elute first as they are excluded from the porous matrix of the stationary phase, while smaller molecules enter the pores and elute later.



Affinity Chromatography

Affinity Chromatography is highly specific and is used to purify proteins based on a specific binding interaction between the protein and a ligand attached to the stationary phase. This method is often used for purifying enzymes, antibodies, or recombinant proteins.



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