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What is GPC/SEC?
Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) is an analytical technique that separates dissolved macromolecules by size based on their elution from columns filled with a porous gel. GPC is also known as Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). Figure 1 shows the measurement principle of GPC/SEC.

Figure 1. Measurement principle GPC

Why use GPC/SEC?

When GPC is coupled with light scattering, viscometer and concentration detectors (known as triple detection), it can measure absolute molecular weight, molecular size and intrinsic viscosity, and generate information on macromolecular structure, conformation, aggregation and branching. 

By using GPC to measure molecular weight and these other properties, scientists can characterize molecules such as synthetic polymers, as well as natural polymers such as polysaccharides.

For all of these molecules, these parameters relate very closely to their performance in countless applications. With this technique:

  • Polymer chemists can control polymer strength, toughness and performance
  • Pharmaceutical producers can tailor the behavior of products such as eye-drops
  • Food producers can better understand product performance and quality.

From novel polymers to polymer formulations and additives, in applications from paints and coatings to foods and pharmaceuticals, Malvern offers a range of GPC systems or individual GPC detectors including SEC-MALS to suit your application needs. Figure 2 shows the GPC/SEC workflow.

Figure 2. Complete GPC system

Which caracteristics can you analyse?


  • Absolute molecular weight
  • Oligomeric composition and aggregation
  • Protein size and density
  • Conjugate composition
  • Second virial coefficient


  • Absolute molecular weight
  • Molecular weight distribution
  • Branching and structure
  • Molecular size
  • Copolymer composition



Bekijk onze GPC/SEC systemen

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