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Size Exclusion Chromatography: Separate monomers from oligomers Virtual Lab

Use size exclusion chromatography (SEC) to prepare a sample of a protein involved in Parkinson’s disease! Discover how this technique can be beneficial in your lab experiments and create a hypothesis about the elution time of different-sized particles!

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Size Exclusion Chromatography: Separate monomers from oligomers

About this Simulation

This short, targeted simulation is adapted from the full-length Parkinson’s Disease simulation. 

Always wanted to know what a chromatograph is? In this simulation, you will learn about the exciting liquid chromatography equipment and discover how it’s used for preparing samples ahead of further experiments in the lab! Inject your sample into the SEC column and guess if the oligomer or a monomer of an interesting protein is eluted first! 

Extract alpha-synuclein protein

You will learn about alpha-synuclein (aSN), a protein that is involved in the formation of Lewy bodies in the brain during the development of Parkinson’s disease. In order to start working with aSN, you will first use sonication to extract the protein, which is produced by an E. coli bacterial strain, and which was previously genetically modified by your lab assistant. Then, you will learn about the different parts of the liquid chromatography instrument, such as sample injector, fraction collector, and columns to get familiar with them before operating the equipment in the real lab.

Separate aSN monomers and oligomers

After the lab assistant has purified the aSN monomers and induced the formation of aSN oligomers, you will need to separate aSN monomers from oligomers using size exclusion chromatography.You need to make sure that you’re choosing the right mobile and stationary phase for your experiment, but you don’t need to worry about long time-consuming preparation steps, because time will be fast-forwarded so you can focus on evaluating the results!

Evaluate the chromatogram

In the end, you will get a chance to look at the chromatogram and analyze the elution volumes. Will you be able to use choose the right fraction that contains aSN oligomers? 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Set up the apparatus required and follow the general workflow associated with liquid chromatography

  • Detail the concept behind compound separation by size exclusion

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Sonication
  • Size exclusion chromatography

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