Protein purification is a vital and essential prerequisite for characterizing and studying proteins. It mainly relies on such techniques as chromatography and electrophoresis, often involving expensive instrumentation and materials.
Matthew T. Stone and Mikhail Kozlov, EMD Millipore Corp., Bedford, MA, USA, demonstrated that activated carbon, a very low-cost adsorbent with high porosity, is capable of separating proteins as well. They identified the size and the effective charge of a protein as two major factors that dominate its adsorption on activated carbon and which differentiate proteins from proteinaceous impurities under controlled conditions.
The researchers have successfully separated several protein mixtures with activated carbon in both batch and flow operations. This new approach may eventually lead to a much cheaper solution to protein purification.
- Separating Proteins with Activated Carbon
Matthew T. Stone, Mikhail Kozlov
Langmuir 2014, 30, 8046–8055.