A mixture of two polymers, or one polymer and a salt, in an aqueous medium separates into two phases: this phenomenon is useful in biotechn- ogy for product separations. Separation of biological molecules and particles in these aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) was initiated over 40 years ago by P.-Å. Albertsson, and later proved to be of immense utility in biochemical and cell biological research. A boost in the application of ATPS was seen when problems of separations in biotechnology processes were encountered. Its simplicity, biocompatibility, and amenability to easy scaleup operations make the use of ATPS very attractive for large-scale bioseparations. Despite the advantages ATPS enjoys over other separation techniques, the application of two-phase systems has for a long time been confined to selected labora- ries. Recent years have, however, shown a trend in which increasing numbers of researchers employ two-phase partitioning techniques in both basic and applied research.
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In Aqueous Two-Phase Systems: Methods and Protocols, Rajni Hatti-Kaul and her expert coauthors combine theory, methodology, and applications in a practical collection of easily reproducible protocols for bioseparations in aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS). The protocols range from established methods to cutting-edge techniques with potential biotechnological applications, all presented in set-by-step detail to ensure easy reproducibility and robust results. Among the methods detailed are those for ATPS preparation and characterization, for partitioning applied to soluble molecules and particulates (including whole cells, membranes, and organelles), and for the isolation and purification of proteins-including a glimpse of large-scale handling of two-phase separations. Techniques for in situ product recovery during biocatalytic processes and for polymer-polymer systems in organic solvents are also presented.
Practical and informative, with its detailed guidelines allowing researchers to adapt specific systems to their own separation needs, Aqueous Two-Phase Systems: Methods and Protocols demonstrates the scope and utility of two-phase aqueous systems in both basic and applied research.
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