A. Štrancar, A. Podgornik, M. Barut, R. Necina
Advances in Biochemical Engineering/ Biotechnology,Vol. 76, 2002
Monolithic supports represent a novel type of stationary phases for liquid and gas chromatography, for capillary electrochromatography, and as supports for bioconversion and solid phase synthesis. As opposed to individual particles packed into chromatographic columns, monolithic supports are cast as continuous homogeneous phases. They represent an approach that provides high rates of mass transfer at lower pressure drops as well as high efficiencies even at elevated flow rates. Therefore, much faster separations are possible and the productivity of chromatographic processes can be increased by at least one order of magnitude as compared to traditional chromatographic columns packed with porous particles. Besides the speed, the nature of the pores allows easy access even in the case of large molecules, which make monolithic supports a method of choice for the separation of nanoparticles like pDNA and viruses. Finally, for the optimal purification of larger biomolecules, the chromatographic column needs to be short. This enhances the speed of the separation process and reduces backpressure, unspecific binding, product degradation and minor changes in the structure of the biomolecule, without sacrificing resolution. Short Monolithic Columns (SMC) were engineered to combine both features and have the potential of becoming the method of choice for the purification of larger biomolecules and nanoparticles on the semi-preparative scale.
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