Aqueous polymer two-phase systems formed by new thermoseparating polymers

Josefine Persson, Hans-Olof Persson, Igor Galaev, Bo Mattiasson, Folke Tjerneld

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


A set of new polymers that can be used as phase forming components in aqueous two-phase systems is presented. All polymers studied have thermoseparating properties i.e. form one separate polymer enriched phase and one aqueous solution when heated above the critical temperature. This property makes the polymers attractive alternatives to the polymers used in traditional aqueous two-phase systems such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and dextran. The thermal phase separation simplifies recycling of the polymers, thus making the aqueous two-phase systems more cost efficient and suitable for use in large scale. Thermoseparating polymers studied have been copolymers of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide (EO-PO), poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (poly-NIPAM), poly vinyl caprolactam (poly-VCL) and copolymers of N-isopropylacrylamide and vinyl caprolactam with vinyl imidazole (poly(NIPAM-VI) and poly(VCL-VI), respectively). In addition, the copolymer poly(NIPAM-VI) has the property to be uncharged at pH above 7.0 and positively charged at lower pH. This allows the partitioning of protein to be directed by changing the pH in the system instead of the traditional addition of salt to direct the partitioning. Hydrophobically modified EO-PO copolymer (HM-(EO-PO)) with alkyl groups (C_{14}) at both ends forms two-phase system with for example poly(NIPAM-VI). The phase diagram for poly(NIPAM-VI)/HM-(EO-PO) was determined and the model proteins lysozyme and BSA were partitioned in this system. For BSA in poly(NIPAM-VI)/HM-(EO-PO) system a change in pH from 8.0 to 5.4 results in a change of partition coefficient from K=0.8 to K=5.1, i.e. BSA could be transferred from the HM-(EO-PO) phase to the poly(NIPAM-VI) phase. BSA partitioning in poly(NIPAM-VI)/HM-(EO-PO) system allows quantitative BSA recovery, and recoveries of poly(NIPAM-VI) and HM-(EO-PO) were 53% and 92%, respectively, after the thermoseparation step.
Sidor (från-till)105-116
StatusPublished - 2000

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Biologiska vetenskaper
  • Industriell bioteknik


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