Large Scale Protein Recovery using Aqueous Phase Systems

  • Maria-Regina Kula


Aqueous phase systems provide not only a gentle environment for biologically active proteins [1,2] but offer unique possibilities for application in downstream processing, especially in large scale. Most important, a very difficult mechanical separation step can be replaced by an extraction process, which is thermodynamically controlled and allows the separation of cells or cell debris from a soluble protein by partition into opposite phases under suitable conditions [3–6]. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-salt systems, as well as two-polymer systems, may be employed for this purpose, the former appears to give a higher selectivity in protein partition and leads to an enriched product in the first extraction step in high yield [3-5]. PEG is commercially available as a bulk product with several molecular weight fractions in the interesting range 600-8000 dalton. PEG is usually chosen also as one of the polymers if a two-polymer system is investigated. The second component may be either purified dextran fractions (1,2), crude dextran (7), starch derivatives (8), or other polymers like polyvinylalcohol (9). The selection of the basic phase system depends on the partition coefficient of the product of interest and on economic factors, which are closely linked to the concentration required for phase formation. Single step yields and simultaneous purification of product have to be considered also in the design of the primary extraction step. The necessary separation of the two immiscible liquid phases can be carried out by conventional equipment at unit gravity or accelerated by centrifugal forces without major problems [3,7,10–12].


Protein Recovery Unit Gravity Starch Derivative Simultaneous Purification Immiscible Liquid Phasis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Regina Kula
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für EnzymtechnologieUniversität DüsseldorfJülichGermany

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