Monolithic column materials offer great advantages as chromatographic media in bioseparations and as solid-supports in biocatalysis. These single-piece porous materials have an interconnected ligament structure that limits the void volume inside the column, thus increasing the efficiency without sacrificing the permeability. The preparation of monolithic materials is easy, reproducible and has available a wide range of chemistries to utilize. Complex, heterogeneous and isobaric glycan structures require preparation methods that may include glycan release, separation and enrichment prior to a comprehensive and site-specific glycosylation analysis. Monolithic column materials aid that demand, as shown by the results reported by the research works presented in this review. These works include selective capture of glycans and glycoproteins via their interactions with lectins, boronic acids, hydrophobic, and hydrophilic/polar functional groups on monolith surfaces. It also includes immobilization of enzymes trypsin and PNGase F on monoliths to digest and deglycosylate glycoproteins and glycopeptides, respectively. The use of monolithic capillary columns for glycan separations through nano-liquid chromatography (nano-LC) and capillary electrochromatography (CEC) and coupling these columns to MS instruments to create multidimensional systems show the potential in the development of miniaturized, high-throughput and automated systems of glycan separation and analysis.
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