Scalable and efficient purification of biological products is an important aspect in bioprocess and industrial application. Downstream processing of biological products is an effort-intensive operation due to the complexity of the crude feedstock and the necessity to retain their biological activity. The purification process of protein dominates 30-80% of the total production cost and this might become an obstruction in the commercialization of bioproducts. For the production of therapeutic enzymes and proteins, the cost of bioseparation contributes more than half (60-80%) of the final cost. Thus, development of product separation technology that can reduce the purification costs and improve the yield or purity of product is very important aspect in biomanufacturing.

Recently, our researchers are involved with the use of aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) for the recovery, purification and concentration of biomolecules. A boost in the application of ATPS was seen when problems of separations in biotechnology processes were encountered. ATPS is aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) that mainly composed of a mixture of two polymers, or one polymer and a salt, in an aqueous medium separates into two phases, which is suitable for the preservation of native structure of purified proteins or enzymes. Our researchers also use reverse micelles for protein separation. Reverse micelles are water-in-oil microemulsion droplets stabilized by surfactants in apolar solvents, and have beenused to extract proteins in liquid–liquidextractionprocess. In reverse micelles method, the protein is first extracted from the aqueousphase to the reversed micelle phase under certain conditions (forward extraction). Then, the protein is recovered from the organicphase by extracting the reversed micelle phase with a second aqueous phase (backward stripping).

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