Monolithic columns are a special type of chromatography column, which can be used for the purification of different biomolecules. They have become popular due to their high mass transfer properties and short purification times. Several articles have already discussed monolith manufacturing, as well as monolith characteristics. In contrast, this review focuses on the applied aspect of monoliths and discusses the most relevant biomolecules that can be successfully purified by them. We describe success stories for viruses, nucleic acids and proteins and compare them to conventional purification methods. Furthermore, the advantages of monolithic columns over particle-based resins, as well as the limitations of monoliths are discussed. With a compilation of commercially available monolithic columns, this review aims at serving as a ‘yellow pages’ for bioprocess engineers who face the challenge of purifying a certain biomolecule using monoliths.
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