WORKSHOP 3

Magnetic separation of proteins in the technical scale

The separation of proteins and nucleic acids by means of magnetic separation is becoming increasingly important on a preparative scale. During the last few years, specifically functionalised magnetic particles were developed. Together with an appropriate buffer system, they allow for the quick and efficient purification directly after their extraction from crude cell extracts. Centrifugation steps were avoided.
Despite its high potential, today’s biochemical engineers are, for the most part, wholly unfamiliar with the topics of magnetism and magnetic separations, and are thus unable to recognise areas within bioprocessing where magnetically driven separations could be applied beneficially. Therefore, starting from basic first principles we shall describe the development of arguably the most powerful magnetic technique for bioprocessing, i.e. High Gradient Magnetic Fishing (HGMF). Using case examples, we shall illustrate the properties required for magnetic separators suitable for biotechnology, the ways in which HGMF processes can be operated, modelled and optimised, and finally identify the technique’s future prospects within the bioprocess industries.
The workshop is divided into two main topics. First, Sonja Berensmeier gives an overview of the particle systems used and important parameters for their use in various applications. Second, Matthias Franzreb presents the topic of magnetic separators, their operation and their performance for different case examples.

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