Proteins are biological macromolecules considered as the basic component of a majority of enzymes and other complex bimolecular compounds, and are also required in the synthesis of such compounds. Proteins differ from one another based on the number of peptide structures present within them and they way in which they are folded ore arranged. These peptides are further composed of amino acid molecules that together form a chain to give rise to the peptide’s respective structure. Protein electrophoresis has been a fundamental research process to evaluate the contents of a protein based on their molecular weight and their charge. Protein electrophoresis can either be done by either denaturing or non denaturing methods. Denaturing process allows protein unfolding and study of various polypeptides by their molecular weight and charge (charge to mass ratio), whereas non denaturing methods (also known as native gel methods) take protein size into consideration as a whole without unfolding the main structure thereby studying its shape and size in the process. Polyacrylamide gel is a commonly used porous gelling agent, for both methods, that allows for movement of proteins within the buffer medium. Denaturing methods employ sodium dodecyl suphate (SDS), a commonly used detergent agent that allows for unfolding of proteins into their polypeptides and in the process assists free movement of ionized protein molecules in the water medium. Together SDS polyacryilamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) is the most common denaturing gel method for protein electrophoresis. Among native PAGE methods blue native and clear native PAGE methods are most common and inexpensive procedures, they are followed by the highly accurate quantitative preparative native continuous PAGE (QPNC-PAGE) that employs Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer to study molecules of protein polypeptide. Blue native (BN-PAGE) process requires the assistance of a Coomassie brilliant blue dye that provides charges to proteins with weak charge and also makes it easier to spot, however they have been known to denature proteins in the process. Clear native (CN-PAGE) process is therefore used in cases where such denaturing is to be avoided completely. Although they have lower visibility of the proteins, CN-PAGE is much more reliable than BN PAGE offering micro scale separation and retaining supramolecular structure assembly of polypeptide chains.
Globally, the Asia Pacific region is currently the largest market for the basic protein electrophoresis equipment by sales volume. This is followed by North America, Europe and consecutively the rest of the world (RoW) region. The Asian markets home to a large number of biotechnological analytic device manufacturing companies in the world. The increased spending by the governments of the emerging countries in Asia in research and technology assists the rise in demand for protein electrophoresis equipment in the region which was earlier met by Japanese and European Companies. Other Asian players are expected to enter the market in the near future thereby reducing the cost and increasing the market for the years to come. Raw materials and reagents required for the same are provided by a majority of European and Asian manufacturers.
The market players in this industry are numerous as the markets are highly fragmented depending upon their region of operation. Some noted players in the global market include; CBS Scientific Company Inc., Cleaver Scientific ltd., Serva Electrophoresis GmbH., LabRepCo., Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC., Lonza Group Ltd, Hoefer Inc., etc, to name a few.
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