JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
High-performance liquid chromatography. A scien- tist stands in front of a set of High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) columns, checking a sample tube. HPLC is used to separate out mixtures of biological molecules. The sample is mixed with an inert liquid and then forced by high pressure through a column of tightly packed microscopic beads. The components of the mixture vary in the extent to which they adsorb onto the surface of the beads. Because of this, they travel through the column at different rates, each component emerging separately. The technique is especially good for separating large biological molecules like proteins.
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