For protein separations, the stationary phase is usually bonded to a hydrophilic polymer consisting of cross-linked carbohydrate chains. These hydrophilic polymers are called gels. Gels include Sephadex (a dextrose polymer cross-linked with glycerol), agarose and polyacrylamide. Gels have a lower charge density than resins and their hydrophilic character is gentler in the treatment of proteins, helping to preserve their activity.

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