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Sample fractionation refers to the separation of components of a mixture. Liquid chromatography is a fractionation technique used often in biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing to isolate biomolecules for analysis or preparative purposes. The molecule of interest is part of the mobile phase, in this case a liquid, which is passed over a stationary phase. The stationary phase separates the mixture based on characteristics such as shape, size, charge, molecular structure, or binding affinity to a base matrix. The base matrix of a stationary phase can be a column packed with chromatography resin or another matrix, such as electrospun cellulose fibers. After chromatographic separation, the fraction of the sample containing the molecule of interest is collected in tubes or other containers.

Fraction collection in chromatography

Fraction collectors facilitate the collection of samples during fractionation processes. They often comprise a collection rack that you can fill with containers such as test tubes. These collection vessels enable you to collect samples in fixed volumes. Use them to direct specific fractions into different containers. They are available in varying capacities and flow rates to match your unique requirements. Optimal flow enhances loading and fraction purity.

We offer several fraction collectors for different ÄKTA™ chromatography systems and applications. The F9-C for ÄKTA pure™ systems collects up to 576 fractions in deep-well plates, tubes, or bottles. It operates in column-by-column, serpentine, or row-by-row mode to suit your needs. The F9-R is for use with ÄKTA pure™, ÄKTA go™, or ÄKTA avant™ protein purification systems, for collection in 3, 8, 15, and 50 mL tubes. The dual plate F9-T is compatible with ÄKTA go™ and ÄKTA pure™ 25 protein purification systems.

Fraction collectors FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about fraction collectors.

How do fraction collectors work?

These devices collect samples based on time or based on user-defined criteria for sample properties. In the latter example, sensors monitor criteria such as UV absorbance, and fraction collection is triggered when these criteria reach a predetermined value that indicates the eluent contains the biomolecule of interest. This type of automatic peak recognition helps to eliminate cross-contamination. Fraction collectors often feature a protective cover, which prevents contamination of samples by dust and debris.

What is fractionation?

Fractionation in downstream bioprocessing refers to the separation of a mixture into different parts, or fractions, each containing different biomolecules. Liquid chromatography methods such as affinity chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC), multimodal or mixed mode chromatography, size-exclusion chromatography, and ion exchange chromatography.

What fraction collector or accessory do I need for my ÄKTA™ chromatography system?

Our Purify web app can help you find the right accessories and components for your system and application.