Controlling protein transport in ultrafiltration using small charged ligands

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Previous studies have demonstrated that protein transport during ultrafiltration can be strongly influenced by solution pH and ionic strength. The objective of this study was to examine the possibility of controlling protein transmission using a small, highly charged ligand that selectively binds to the protein of interest. Experiments were performed using bovine serum albumin and the dye Cibacron Blue. Protein sieving data were obtained with essentially neutral and negatively charged versions of a composite regenerated cellulose membrane to examine the effects of electrostatic interactions. The addition of only 1 g/L of Cibacron Blue to an 8 g/L BSA solution reduced the BSA sieving coefficient through the negatively-charged membrane by more than two orders of magnitude, with this effect being largely eliminated at high salt and with the neutral membrane. Protein sieving data were in good agreement with model calculations based on the partitioning of a charged sphere in a charged pore accounting for the change in net protein charge due to ligand binding and the increase in solution ionic strength due to the free ligand in solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 20 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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