What Is It??
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the wonderful world of chromatography!
What is chromatography, you ask?? Well, quite simply, it is a broad
range of physical methods used to separate and or to analyze complex mixtures.
The components to be separated are distributed between two phases: a stationary
phase bed and a mobile phase which percolates through the stationary
How Does It Work? Like Magic!
A mixture of various components enters a chromatography process, and the
different components are flushed through the system at different rates.
These differential rates of migration as the mixture moves over adsorptive
materials provide separation. Repeated sorption/desorption acts that take
place during the movement of the sample over the stationary bed determine
the rates. The smaller the affinity a molecule has for the stationary phase,
the shorter the time spent in a column.
So, Why Is It So Special?
In any chemical or bioprocessing industry, the need to separate and purify
a product from a complex mixture is a necessary and important step in the
production line. Today, there exists a wide market of methods in which
industries can accomplish these goals. Chromatography is a very
special separation process for a multitude of reasons! First of all, it
can separate complex mixtures with great precision. Even very similar components,
such as proteins that may only vary by a single amino acid, can be separated
with chromatography. In fact, chromatography can purify basically any soluble
or volatile substance if the right adsorbent material, carrier fluid, and
operating conditions are employed. Second, chromatography can be used to
separate delicate products since the conditions under which it is performed
are not typically severe. For these reasons, chromatography is quite well
suited to a variety of uses in the field of biotechnology, such as separating
mixtures of proteins.
Do You Want to Know More?
Because chromatography has so many wonderful applications in the biotech
industry, we want to tell you more about it. You can go to the following
Prof. Cramer's chromatography course
(c)1994 Rebecca Carrier and Julie Bordonaro - Intro to Biochemical Engineering
Term Project, merged with the 1997 project by Kevin Yip
We hope you enjoyed your adventures in the world of chromatography.
Have a nice trip