Source: Laboratory of Dr. B. Jill Venton - University of Virginia
Ion-exchange chromatography is a type of chromatography that separates analytes based on charge. A column is used that is filled with a charged stationary phase on a solid support, called an ion-exchange resin. Strong cation-exchange chromatography preferentially separates out cations by using a negatively-charged resin while strong anion-exchange chromatography preferentially selects out anions by using a positively-charged resin. This type of chromatography is popular for sample preparation, for example in the cleanup of proteins or nucleic acid samples.
Ion-exchange chromatography is a two-step process. In the first step, the sample is loaded onto the column in a loading buffer. The binding of the charged sample to the column resin is based on ionic interactions of the resin to attract the sample of the opposite charge. Thus, charged samples of opposite polarity to the resin are strongly bound. Other molecules that are not charged or are of the opposite charge are not bound and are washed through the column. The second step is to elute the analyte that is bound to the resin. This is accomplished with a salt gradient, where the amount of salt in the buffer is slowly increased. Fractions are collected at the end of the column as…
1Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, 2Center for Measurement Standards, Industrial Technology Research Institute, 3National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, 4Department of Chemistry, National Changhua University of Education