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Figure 2

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Conventional low-throughput glycoconjugate characterization and steps that will improve throughput. Current strategies for oligosaccharide identification include multiple time-consuming steps including, but not limited to, (1) isolation of individual glycoconjugates, such as prions or CD34 (see Figure 1), from a cell or tissue; (2) the detachment and purification of each oligosaccharide from a particular glycoconjugate; and (3) a one-at-a-time structural characterization and identification. Each of these steps currently requires multiple procedures and method of analysis [21], as illustrated in the boxes for steps (1) and (3). Streamlined methods now under development, such as (4) the coupling of isolation by glycoblotting with identification by mass spectrometry (MS) [35], and automated interpretation of spectra [30], are also shown. These methods, along with array-based technologies (see Figure 3), offer hope for high-throughput glycan characterization in the near future.

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