By Deborah Grainger
First published February 9, 2016 on www.Biocompare.com
Chromatography comprises a group of molecular separation techniques commonly used in proteomics to isolate proteins of interest from heterogeneous samples. Despite the fact that these methods are purification strategies in their own right, it would be ill advised to introduce crude sample to your chromatography setup from the outset. The vast majority of samples encountered require some form of processing before they can be placed on the analytical instrument. For example, any starting material bearing high ionic strength, in addition to electrolyte-rich isolation and extraction buffers, may interfere with ion exchange (IEX) chromatography, resulting in low protein retention. Similarly, any particulates remaining in poorly prepped samples may cause clogging of the column, potentially invalidating your run and wasting precious sample in the process. Such constituents need to be removed before samples even get near a chromatography column, or else you could end up with undesirable or irreproducible results.