In describing proteins, I've written "the proteins detached from the [Ni-IDA] matrix and were eluted from the column"
Should I use "were" or can something simply "elute" ?
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trans. To wash out, cleanse. Now spec. [after German eluieren, in same sense] to wash (adsorbed matter) away from the substance that has adsorbed it.
It's transitive, so you elute something, rather than something eluting. Your original "were eluted" is correct.