ProPac LC Columns for Protein and Charge Variant Characterization

Ultrahigh resolution of proteins, monoclonal antibodies, biosimilars, and charge variants

Achieve ultrahigh resolution and high efficiency separations of proteins and glycoproteins with a pI 3–10 and molecular weight over 10,000 units. Thermo Scientific ProPac Protein LC columns have a long-standing reputation for providing excellent reproducibility and durability under a broad range of pH, temperature, and mobile phase compositions.

ProPac columns along with Thermo Scientific MAbPac and Acclaim SEC 300 columns comprise our broader portfolio that address the challenges in biopharmaceutical separations.

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Unsure if you need anion or cation exchange column?

Separations are based on the accessible surface charge of the protein or glycoprotein with the column’s functional group. Unsure if you need an anion or cation exchange column? The protein’s pI can help to determine which column to use.

  • If your protein pI is < 6, start with anion exchange columns. You may need to try both SAX and WAX options to determine which offers the best resolution.
  • If your pI is > 6, start with cation exchange columns. The ProPac Elite is our newest innovation providing the ultrahigh resolution, speed and efficiently along with the ability to use pH gradients as well as salt gradients. If you are just starting to develop your method, consider starting with this column.

Recommended Ion Exchange Columns by Type

Column TypeStrong anion exchange (SAX) columnsWeak anion exchange (WAX) columnsWeak cation exchange (WCX) columnsStrong cation exchange (SCX) columns
ColumnProPac SAX-10ProPac WAX-10ProPac Elite WCX 5μmProPac WCX-10MAbPac SCX
Functional groupQuaternary ammoniumTertiary amineCarboxylic acidSulfonic acid
Sample pITypically for protein pI is < 6Typically for protein pI is > 6
Notes  Based on WCX-10 column

Ultrahigh resolution

Faster, more efficient, highly reproducible
Long standing gold-standard columnStrong Cation Exchange columns offer an alternate selectivity to Weak Cation Exchange columns
GradientUse salt gradientWAX will buffer your phase more than SAXUse salt or pH gradients*Use salt gradientUse salt or pH gradients

* Using our CX-1 pH Gradient Buffers

Innovation inside ProPac Ion Exchange Columns

Gold standard for protein characterization in the biopharmaceutical industry
  • Resolves variants that differ by as little as one amino acid.
  • Eliminates hydrophobic interactions, resulting in very efficient peaks.
  • Nonporous 5 or 10µm particles are solvent-compatible ethylvinylbenzene cross-linked with 55% divinylbenzene polymer (DVB) substrate. 
  • Resin is covered with a highly hydrophilic, neutral polymer, to minimize nonspecific interactions between the surface and the biopolymer. 
  • A controlled polymer chain is grafted on the hydrophilic layer to introduce the ion exchange functionality containing the anion- or cation-exchange groups that impart selectivity and reproducible capacity. 
  • The selectivity differences between the various resin types provide flexibility in maximizing the resolution of closely related proteins. 

Use for

  • Characterization and quality control assessment of monoclonal antibodies and other proteins. 
  • Exceptionally high resolution and efficiency for separations of protein variants such as sequence variants, truncation variants, phosphorylation variants sialylation variants, deamidation variants, and other variants. 

ProPac & MAbPac hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) columns

With many opportunities for post translational modifications (PTMs), it is often necessary to employ multiple column supports to detect, characterize, and quantify all structural variants and modifications and to monitor product stability. 

Separates proteins, peptides, and other biomolecules by their degree of hydrophobicity

HIC columns separate proteins and mAb molecules in order of increasing hydrophobicity under non-denaturing conditions. Analytes bind to the weakly hydrophobic stationary phase in the presence of high salt concentration and elute off the column as the salt concentration decreases. 


In contrast to reversed phase liquid chromatography, HIC typically preserves the biological activity of the protein, which is useful for downstream functional analysis such as binding and cell-based potency assays.

ProPac HIC-10
  • Ideal for separation of protein/peptides including complex mixtures 
  • Non-denaturing conditions to preserve biological activity 
  • Excellent resolution and high efficiencies 
  • High capacity column 
  • Compatible with organic solvents and can be used in separations of very hydrophobic proteins 
  • Broad range of applications

Also see our Thermo Scientific MAbPac HIC columns

MAbPac HIC-10 LC ColumnMAbPac HIC-20 LC ColumnsMAbPac HIC-Butyl LC Columns
  • High purity, spherical, wide-pore (1,000Å), 5μm silica particles
  • Functionalized with proprietary alkyl amide groups
  • Advanced surface bonding technology
  • Excellent chemical stability, high efficiency, and unique selectivity optimized for mAbs
  • Different from other HIC phases
  • High resolution silica based
  • Based on ProPac HIC-10 column
  • Unique chemistry for excellent separation of mAbs and mAb variants such as oxidized mAb variants
  • Compatible with both organic solvent and aqueous mobile phase
  • Rugged column stability
  • Hydrophilic, nonporous, 5μm polymer particles
  • Functionalized with butyl groups
  • Density of butyl group optimized for high resolution separation and biocompatibility

About ProPac & MAbPac biopharma HPLC columns

The biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry has an extensive development pipeline for protein and monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics. We understand that mAbs have very complex structures, with many possible site-specific variations that can change safety, efficacy, and stability profiles. With such potential for post translational modifications (PTMs), it is essential to detect, characterize, and quantify structural variants and modifications and to monitor product stability.

We see it as our job to develop and deliver innovative and efficient analytic tools during mAb development and production to prove safety, efficacy, and stability to regulatory agencies. Look to Thermo Scientific HPLC and LC/MS instruments and HPLC columns as your essential tools for the characterization of mAb and other protein biotherapeutics. They have been designed to address your challenges.

Thermo Scientific BioLC columns for mAbs, mAb variants, and other proteins

  • ProPac ion exchange columns provide exceptionally high resolution and efficiency for separations of protein variants. These columns are capable of resolving isoforms that differ by as little as one charged residue.
  • MAbPac columns, specifically designed for the separation of monoclonal antibodies, complement ProPac columns. 
AnalysisDescriptionColumns & Buffers
Charge variant analysisRoutine charge variant profiling/screening, including lysine truncation, deamidation & acylation
Methionine & tryptophan oxidationTargeted analysis of methionine and tryptophan oxidation
Antibody drug conjugate (ADC) analysis using MSADC DAR analysis/ Drug to Antibody ratio and intact mass
Intact mAb & fragment analysisLight chain (LC) and heavy chain (HC) analysis
Fragment (Fab and Fc) analysis
scFc and F(ab’)2 analysis

Featured ProPac videos

Learn how to easily produce linear pH gradients for fast and robust therapeutic protein separations pH gradient buffer kits with ion exchange columns.

Learn about this simple pH gradient/ion-exchange chromatography workflow for the characterization of charge variants in monoclonal antibodies.

Learn about the common mistakes users make with ion exchange columns and ways to avoid those mistakes.

Educational webinars

Join scientific experts from NIBRT in Dublin, Ireland and Thermo Fisher Scientific for the latest analytical advances for intact protein characterization.

Biopharma community & collaboration

AppsLab Library of Analytical Applications

AppsLab Library of Analytical Applications

Unique applications compendium from NIBRT and Thermo Fisher Scientific focused on simplified, faster methods that deliver highly informative characterization data.


Style Sheet for Global Design System
Style Sheet for Komodo Tabs
CMD SchemaApp code