A low-cost, pressurized liquid chromatography system for protein purification


Column chromatography is a routine technique for the separation of components from complex mixtures. In biochemistry and molecular biology, the most common application is the purification of recombinantly expressed proteins from in vitro or in vivo expression systems. These separations are currently performed by gravity flow, centrifugation or by using automated systems that use pumps to force solutions over a column.

Gravity flow and centrifugation techniques, while simple and relatively inexpensive, are labour intensive and time consuming. Conversely, commercial systems allow a high degree of automation, limiting hands-on time, and allow more complex elution protocols, such as elution using salt or pH gradients. However, these systems require specialised, expensive equipment. The project proposed here aims to produce a lower cost, modular, open-source alternative to these commercial systems for performing simple, routine purifications.


The Team

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Stéphanie Polderdijk, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)
Background in biochemistry and protein purification, Arduino-based projects.



Wolfgang Schmied, MRC LMB
Background in molecular biology, experience with CAD, 3D printing and python programming.

Project Outcomes

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Project Report

Project report and documentation on Github

Project Proposal

Original proposal and application


Project Resources

Hardware Schematics

Bill of Materials

Software Code