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M13 bacteriophage is a well-established versatile nano-building block, which can be employed to produce novel self-assembled functional materials and devices. Sufficient production and scalability of the M13, often require a large quantity of the virus and thus, improved propagation methods characterised by high capacity and degree of purity are essential. Currently, the 'gold-standard' is represented by infecting Escherichia coli cultures, followed by precipitation with polyethylene glycol (PEG). However, this is considerably flawed by the accumulation of contaminant PEG inside the freshly produced stocks, potentially hampering the reactivity of the individual M13 filaments. Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of implementing an isoelectric precipitation procedure to reduce the residual PEG along with FT-IR spectroscopy as a rapid, convenient and effective analytic validation method to detect the presence of this contaminant in freshly prepared M13 stocks.
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