Ultrafiltration characteristics of pegylated proteins

Jessica R. Molek, Andrew L. Zydney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


There is growing clinical interest in the use of pegylated recombinant proteins with enhanced stability, half-life, and bioavailability. The objective of this study was to develop a quantitative understanding of the ultra-filtration characteristics of a series of pegylated proteins with different degrees of pegylation. Sieving data were compared with available theoretical models and with corresponding results for the partition coefficient in size exclusion chromatography (SEC). The sieving coefficients of the pegylated proteins depended not only on the protein size and the total molecular weight of the polyethylene glycol (PEG) but also on the number of PEG chains. This is in sharp contrast to the partition coefficient in SEC, which was uniquely determined by the total molecular weight of the PEG and protein. This difference is due to the deformation and/or elongation of the PEG chains caused by the convective flow into the membrane pores, an effect that is not present in SEC. These results provide important insights into the transport and separation characteristics of pegylated proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-482
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 20 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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