Polyelectrolytes and Polycomplexes in Biotechnology

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) are characterized by many useful properties that endow them with high potential in different areas of biotechnology. This thesis describes the development and analyses of some new systems and methods utilizing poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA), poly (N-ethyl-4-vinylpyridinium bromide) (PEVP) and PMA-PEVP complexes. The model of chaperone action when the misfolded inactive forms of polypetides are removed from the medium preventing their aggregation was developed using PEVP and conjugates of PMA with monoclonal antibodies (IgG) specific to inactivated glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (iGAPDH). PMA-IgG conjugates “recognized” and bound iGAPDH in the solution of inactivated enzyme. Addition of stoichiometric amount of PEVP resulted in quantitative precipitation of the formed complex PMA-IgG-iGAPDH-PEVP which was removed by centrifugation. As the next step in the model development iGAPDH was covalently coupled to PMA. pH-dependent properties of IgG- and iGAPDH-PMA conjugates have been studied using turbidimetry and light scattering. The immunocomplexes iGAPDH / IgG-PMA and iGAPDH-PMA / IgG-PMA were shown to precipitate in acidic media. The competition of free iGAPDH and iGAPDH-PMA for binding with IgG-PMA and the dynamic release of refolded GAPDH, which looses affinity to IgG-PMA, into solution could be used for simulating chaperone action. Nonstoichiometric PEC formed by PMA and PEVP udergoes reversible precipitation from aqueous solution at any desired pH-value in the range 4.5-6.5 depending on the ionic strength and PEVP/PMA ratio in the complex. Antigen, iGAPDH, was covalently coupled to PEVP and the resulting conjugate was used for affinity precipitation of IgG using nonstoichiometric PEC. On the base of the developed affinity precipitation procedure a new method of the production of monovalent Fab fragments of IgG has been developed. Proteolysis of IgG in the presence of iGAPDH-PEVP conjugate followed by i) precipitation induced by PMA addition and pH shift from 7.3 to 6.5 and ii) elution at pH 4.0 resulted in 90 % immunologically competent Fab fragments. PAA was electrostatically attached to the surface of STREAMLINE DEAE beads in order to prevent binding of cells to the resin in expanded bed chromatography. The modified matrix was resistant towards interactions with the biomass and was successfully used for isolation of BSA from the model mixture containing bovine serum albumin, lysozyme (positively charged at applied conditions) and yeast cells. A new technique for coating strong anion exchangers with PAA layer has been developed. A layer of PAA was attached to the surface of Amberlite beads via electrostatic interactions followed by a covalent cross-linking of PAA. The cross-linked-PAA-Amberlite was used repeatedly for the direct adsorption of shikimic acid from the industrial fermentation broth. Native Amberlite could not be used due to the immediate clogging of the column with the biomass and the collapse of the expanded bed.


  • Maria Dainiak
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • expanded bed adsorption., affinity precipitation, Fab fragments, monoclonal antibodies, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, misfolded protein, chaperone, poly(N-ethyl-4-vinylpyridinium bromide), poly(methacrylic acid), poly(acrylic acid), Key words: polyelectrolyte, polyelectrolyte complexes, Biotechnology, Bioteknik, Chemical technology and engineering, Kemiteknik och kemisk teknologi
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2001 Dec 19
  • Department of Biotechnology, Lund University
Print ISBNs91-89627-04-0
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2001-12-19 Time: 10:15 Place: Lecture Hall C at the Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lund, Sweden External reviewer(s) Name: van Alstine, James M. Title: Professor Affiliation: Center for Polymer and Surface Chemistry, Amersham Biosciences, Uppsala, Sweden ---