Column, bead, and precipitation-based kits used for extracting nucleic acids all follow the same fundamental workflow.
Cellular lipid membranes are broken down through the use of detergents, releasing proteins and nucleic acids into a solution. Proteases cleave proteins and strong salts, termed chaotropic salts, will further denature them along with dehydrating molecules.
Charge is a fundamental attribute of any biological molecule; in solution, it can be used not only to separate molecules, but also to concentrate and focus them.
Standard separation techniques commonly rely on multiple analyte properties, such as differences in charge, size, solubility, and/or binding affinity, in addition to a solid surface. Isotachophoresis separates and focuses charged molecules in solution solely based on their ionic mobility.