Pharmaceutical and biomedical applications of affinity chromatography: Recent trends and developments

David S. Hage, Jeanethe A. Anguizola, Cong Bi, Rong Li, Ryan Matsuda, Efthimia Papastavros, Erika Pfaunmiller, John Vargas, Xiwei Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Affinity chromatography is a separation technique that has become increasingly important in work with biological samples and pharmaceutical agents. This method is based on the use of a biologically related agent as a stationary phase to selectively retain analytes or to study biological interactions. This review discusses the basic principles behind affinity chromatography and examines recent developments that have occurred in the use of this method for biomedical and pharmaceutical analysis. Techniques based on traditional affinity supports are discussed, but an emphasis is placed on methods in which affinity columns are used as part of HPLC systems or in combination with other analytical methods. General formats for affinity chromatography that are considered include step elution schemes, weak affinity chromatography, affinity extraction and affinity depletion. Specific separation techniques that are examined include lectin affinity chromatography, boronate affinity chromatography, immunoaffinity chromatography, and immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography. Approaches for the study of biological interactions by affinity chromatography are also presented, such as the measurement of equilibrium constants, rate constants, or competition and displacement effects. In addition, related developments in the use of immobilized enzyme reactors, molecularly imprinted polymers, dye ligands and aptamers are briefly considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Affinity chromatography
  • Boronate affinity chromatography
  • Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography
  • Immunoaffinity chromatography
  • Lectin affinity chromatography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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