Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)

Understanding Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) for Effective Molecular Separation

Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC), also known as gel filtration chromatography, is a powerful analytical method used in both quality control and research to separate molecules based on their size. This technique is invaluable in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, and polymer science. Whether you're a researcher in Belgium or a global pharmaceutical scientist, understanding the capabilities of SEC is essential for your chromatographic needs.

What is Size Exclusion Chromatography?

Size Exclusion Chromatography operates on a simple yet effective principle: separation of molecules by their physical size. In this method, a sample is passed through a column packed with porous beads. Larger molecules are unable to enter the pores and thus elute from the column faster than smaller molecules that penetrate into the pores and travel a longer path.

Applications of SEC in Various Industries

SEC is predominantly utilized to analyze the molecular weight distribution of polymers and to purify proteins by removing aggregates. For industries based in Belgium, where pharmaceutical and biotechnological innovations are significant, SEC serves as a critical tool for:

  • Biopharmaceuticals: Ensuring the purity of vaccine formulations and therapeutic proteins.
  • Polymers: Characterizing polymer size and understanding structure-property relationships.
  • Academic Research: Studying complex biochemical interactions and molecular structures.

Advantages of Using Size Exclusion Chromatography

The major advantages of using SEC include its simplicity, its ability to maintain the native state of proteins during separation, and its applicability to a wide range of molecules. Unlike other chromatographic techniques, SEC does not involve interactions between the stationary phase and the molecules in the sample, thereby reducing the risk of sample loss or denaturation.

Choosing the Right SEC Columns and Equipment

For businesses and researchers in Belgium, selecting the right chromatography columns is crucial. Brands such as Tosoh, Knauer, Dr. Maisch, and Thermo offer a variety of SEC columns that cater to different separation needs and sample types. When choosing an SEC column, consider the following:

  • Pore Size: Match the pore size of the gel to the molecular weight of the sample.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that the column material is compatible with the solvents and samples used in your experiments.
  • Column Dimensions: Column dimensions impact resolution and sample throughput, so choose based on your analysis needs.

Partner with SerCoLab for Your Chromatography Needs

At SerCoLab, we are committed to providing top-quality chromatography solutions in Belgium. With access to leading brands and a deep understanding of chromatographic techniques, we are your trusted partner for acquiring the best SEC equipment and supplies. Whether you're setting up a new laboratory or upgrading your current facilities, our experts are here to assist you with tailored advice and support.


Size Exclusion Chromatography is a vital technique in the toolkit of scientists across various sectors. With its unique ability to separate molecules based on size without altering their structure, SEC is indispensable for ensuring the quality and consistency of biological and polymer products. For comprehensive support and supply of SEC columns and accessories, contact SerCoLab, your expert in chromatography solutions in Belgium.