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High binding capacity surface grafted monolithic columns for cation exchange chromatography of proteins and peptides

J. Krenkova, A. Gargano, N. A. Lacher, J. M. Schneiderheinze, F. Svec

Journal of Chromatography A, 1216 (2009) 6824–6830

Poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-ethylene methacrylate) monoliths have been prepared in 100 μm i.d. capillaries and their epoxy groups hydrolyzed to obtain poly(2,3-dihydroxypropyl methacrylate-co-ethylene methacrylate) matrix. These polymers were then photografted in a single step with 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid and acrylic acid to afford stationary phases for a strong and a weak cation exchange chromatography, respectively. Alternatively, poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate was used for grafting in the first step in order to enhance hydrophilicity of the support followed by photografting with 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid or acrylic acid in the second step. These new columns were used for the separation of proteins and peptides. A mixture of ovalbumin, α-chymotrypsinogen, cytochrome c, ribonuclease A and lysozyme was used to assess the chromatographic performance for large molecules while a cytochrome c digest served as a model mixture of peptides. All tested columns featured excellent mass transfer as demonstrated with very steep breakthrough curves. The highest binding capacities were found for columns prepared using the two step functionalization. Columns with sulfonic acid functionalities adsorbed up to 21.5 mg/mL lysozyme while the capacity of the weak cation exchange column functionalized with acrylic acid was 29.2 mg/mL.

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