Multi-detector SEC – 10 reasons why protein scientists need one

In a previous post I listed the top ten reasons why a polymer characterization scientist might want to upgrade to multi-detector Gel Permeation Chromatography/Size Exclusion Chromatography, but there are similar points to be made as to why a protein characterization scientist might do the same.  We often focus on the benefits of our own systems but sometimes we may miss the benefits of the basic technique.

If you are a protein characterization scientist and you find yourself thinking, “My UV detector works fine.  I can see what I need to see.” That may be true, but think of all the things you are missing.  To help with this, we’ve put together another white paper that discusses the top 10 reasons a protein characterization scientist might want to upgrade from UV-only to multi-detection.

For the full whitepaper click here, but I thought I’d summarize the key points:

1. Absolute molecular weight

With its obvious benefits…..Accurate measurements no matter the protein.  Measure its molecular weight in solution, and its oligomeric state or measure the molecular weight of larger complexes with no problems.


Advanced SEC can characterize and quantify the differences in aggregation levels between two IgG samples to identify the highest quality and value product

2. Better aggregate characterization with Multi-detector SEC

Looking for aggregates?  Are they oligomers or larger disordered aggregates?  Are the dense or extended? Particulate or fibrous?  This information is readily available to multi-detector users.

3. Conjugate composition

If you are working with conjugates, do you know how many PEG molecules are attached or how many drug molecules are attached to your ADC?  If you are purifying membrane proteins, would you like to know how much detergent is associated with your protein?

4. Conformation and shape information

Intrinsic viscosity is a relatively unused parameter but it can offer information about conformational changes and large protein folding events.

5. Information, information, information!

Multi-detector SEC could be one of the most data rich techniques in your lab. A single experiment can measure a protein’s:

  • Molecular weight,
  • Oligomeric state,
  • Molecular size (hydrodynamic radius),
  • Concentration,
  • Recovery,
  • Conjugation level,
  • dn/dc,
  • dA/dc,
  • UV absorbance,
  • Absorbance spectra,
  • Conformation (globularity)

6. Because what you don’t know CAN hurt you!

If undiagnosed quality issues or assay variations are slowing down your research and causing batch failures, they are wasting your time and money.  With multi-detector SEC you can diagnose these issues faster and solve them once and for all.

7. A powerful diagnostic tool for production issues

Many biopharmaceutical labs are using multi-detection as a tool for diagnosing production issues.  While the QC lab uses a simple UV-based single detector system, rejected batches are forwarded to a diagnostic team for further characterization.  By studying the molecular weight, size and structure of the proteins and their aggregates, they are able to diagnose the likely source of the aggregation in the production chain.

8. The FDA wants you to

Regulation in the biopharmaceutical world is extremely heavy and drugs that go into the market must pass extremely high levels of experimental and production rigour. The FDA’s requirements only get more stringent and it pays to get ahead of them with the information they require

9. Your competitors are already using these techniques

Thousands of papers are published every year citing light scattering and chromatography, or SEC-MALS, or multi-detector GPC, or multi-detector SEC.  These are published by researchers who already have this technique to maximize their own or their team’s productivity.  In doing so, they are publishing higher impact research more frequently and they are staying at the forefront of protein characterization research.

10. Because you can’t afford not to

In a world of tightening margins and tough competition to sell and to publish, better characterization of proteins and better control of their production means a better and more reliable product.  A better product means fewer quality issues, less waste, and better control of manufacturing costs and better publications are published faster and in higher impact journals.

With these points all in mind, can you really afford not to invest in multi-detector SEC?

Click here to find out more about OMNISEC – the world’s most advanced multi-detector GPC/SEC system.

Click here to request a demonstration of the system.

Click here to request a quote for the OMNISEC system.

Related Resources:

Ten reasons protein characterization scientists should upgrade from single to multi-detector SEC

Recorded Webinar: Unsurpassed protein SEC using the latest innovation in advanced detection, OMNISEC

Application Note: Characterization of IgG monomers & their aggregates -A comparison between column calibration & multi-detection SEC

Video: OMNISEC for advanced protein characterization