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Automated Protein Purification: System, Processes & More

Acquiring pure proteins in good yields is important for many applications. However, manual protein purification is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process comprised of several  purification steps.  

The multi-step nature of protein purification represents a significant workflow bottleneck. Automation of consecutive purification steps speeds up the whole purification process and ensures stable results. Protocols of various protein purification techniques without compromising on efficiency or quality has a significant value proposition for an extremely wide range of life sciences applications. 

In this article, KNAUER explores some of the principles, systems, and processes of automated protein purification in more detail. 

Why Purify Proteins? 

Without first isolating and purifying proteins of interest it is difficult to determine their three-dimensional (3D) structure. Protein purification can help researchers understand their structure and gain a full picture of protein functionality.

Much like high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a perfect analytical method for resolving the chemical composition of samples, fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) is a go-to solution for protein purification. FPLC is generally carried out at lower pressures than HPLC.

Advanced FPLC systems with high degrees of automation provide a range of benefits to researchers working with proteins and other biomolecules. These include:

Automated Protein Purification with KNAUER

KNAUER offers a high-precision two-step system for automated protein purification. Combining two processes in a single instrument and automating the transition phase between columns eliminates the bottleneck associated with manual handling of samples between protein purification stages. The overall system supports flow rates of 0.01 – 50 mL/minute with broad column compatibility, ensuring optimal flexibility to suit virtually any application. 

Using the AZURA® Bio with a protein affinity column linked to gel filtration size exclusion chromatography (SEC), KNAUER applications and academy experts have successfully purified mouse antibodies (IgG1) from a cell culture medium without needing manual interaction. This system could be easily adapted for a range of other purification protocols. See the full application note below: 

Automated two-step purification of mouse antibody IgG1 

To exemplify the flexibility of the AZURA® Bio system, we have also demonstrated how to use the AZURA® Bio automated protein purification system for affinity chromatography by His-tag in an automated two-step purification of 6xHis-tagged GFP (Green fluorescence protein). 

If you would like to learn more about KNAUERr’s automation solutions for protein purification, simply contact a member of the team today. 

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