Size Exclusion Chromatography

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Size Exclusion Chromatography

Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) is the separation technique based on the molecular size of the components. Separation is achieved by the differential exclusion from the pores of the packing material, of the sample molecules as they pass through a bed of porous particles. The principle feature of SEC is its gentle non-adsorptive interaction with the sample, enabling high retention of biomolecular activity.

Gel Filtration and Gel Permeation

For the separation of biomolecules in aqueous or aqueous/organic mobile phases, SEC is referred to as gel filtration chromatography (GFC), while the separation of organic polymers in non-aqueous mobile phases is called gel permeation chromatography (GPC).


Size exclusion chromatography is used primarily for analytical assays and semi-preparative purifications. It is not commonly used for process scale work due to the low capacity of the size exclusion mode. Tosoh Corporation (Toyo Soda), introduced its first SEC columns in 1973 and has continuously added new column types and instruments since then.

Find out more

TSKgel GFC columns for protein analysis, water-soluble polymers, polar organic-soluble polymers »

TSKgel GPC columns for organic-soluble polymers »

EcoSEC GPC System for high efficiency polymer analysis »

Toyopearl HW-type resins for purification by gel filtration »

For an overview refer to our chromatography mode poster General Principles of Chromatography or send us an e-mail to receive a printed copy.