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Sample Information

Sample Quantity

  • Bulky or inhomogenous samples must be blended before hydrolysis. The largest amount of sample that can be hydrolysed is about 200mg.
  • At least 20 micrograms of protein are needed for analysis with ninhydrin detection.
  • For accurate weighing, >2mg of material must be provided. For special hydrolysis conditions e.g. tryptophan analysis, at least 5mg of material is required.

Sample Considerations

Analyses can be performed on amino acids and proteins coming from a wide range of sources.  However, to obtain maximum accuracy, some points should be noted when supplying samples for analysis.

  • Glycine buffers should never be used during the work up of proteins that have to be amino acid analysed.  Glycine is very difficult to remove afterwards, with obvious effect on the accuracy of the measurement of glycine.
  • Ammonium salts should also be avoided in the last stage of purification as large amounts of ammonia will cause the analysis reagent to precipitate out in the reaction coil.
  • Proteins extracted from gels always have high backgrounds.  They should first be passed through a size exclusion column to remove gel chemicals. Due to safety reasons, we cannot accept acrylamide gels for any samples requiring hydrolysis.
  • Glycerol and mannitol interfere strongly during the hydrolysis stage of amino acid analysis and will badly affect the recoveries.
  • Samples with a high salt content can affect the ion exchange column.
  • Proteins adsorbed on nitrocellulose membranes cannot be amino acid analysed (use PVDF filters instead).

Sample Submission

or your convenience, please complete our  sample submission form and include it when sending your samples.

Please send samples for amino acid analysis to:

Amino acid analysis section,
Alta Bioscience Ltd,
Building Y10, University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT, UK

For samples shipped from outside the UK, please mark shipments as “Samples for Analysis” and include a nominal value <£10 in total on any paperwork where applicable.