Outlook For Protein Batch Adsorption

As described in the section on protein adsorption principles and evidenced within the context of the examples discussed in the preceding text, the application of batch adsorption operations has been limited by the modest protein selectivities generally found for most commercially available adsorbent systems. Development of more sophisticated high-affinity adsorbents through combinatorial chemistry or phage display approaches, which use high throughout screening to tailor and design specific ligands, will certainly enable additional batch adsorption applications by providing high selectivity separations.

Important future applications of batch adsorption for biomolecule recovery and purification will likely be developed for several niche bioseparations. For example, adsorbent-based purification of very large biomolecules including plasmid DNA, viruses, and recombinant viruslike particles are often characterized by very slow diffusion through pores in even the most macroporous resins avail able. This can make chromatographic-based operations problematic, because the overall mass transfer can require long contact times or make the effective surface area appear quite small. The development of new adsorbent materials with megapores may provide improvements in separation performance. Moreover, limitations in column operation because of slow adsorption can be overcome in some cases if the separation is performed in a batch operation mode. Analogously, slow desorption may be handled optimally through batch operation using either a well-mixed contactor or a column with column effluent-recycle configuration. In such cases, the recycle mode may result in minimal volumes for product elution relative to the large volume if carried out in a single-pass flow mode.

Improvements in adsorbents and processing equipment, especially for product-laden adsorbent handling to be consistent with aseptic operations, along with greater understanding and modeling of protein transport and ad-sorptive reactions will allow invention of additional adsorbent-based process technology schemes. The coupling of purification technologies, such as through adsorptive membranes or more specific fluidized bed batch adsorbers, will likely be increasingly applied as enhanced variants of traditional batch adsorption.

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