Bioprocess intensification: A potential aqueous two-phase process for the primary recovery of B-phycoerythrin from Porphyridium cruentum
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A process for the primary recovery of B-phycoerythrin from Porphyridium cruentum exploiting aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) was developed in order to reduce the number of unit operations and benefit from an increased yield of the protein product. The evaluation of system parameters such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) molecular mass, concentration of PEG as well as salt, system pH and volume ratio was carried out to determine under which conditions the B-phycoerythrin and contaminants concentrate to opposite phases. PEG 1450-phosphate ATPS proved to be suitable for the recovery of B-phycoerythrin because the target protein concentrated to the top phase whilst the protein contaminants and cell debris concentrated in the bottom phase. An extraction ATPS stage comprising volume ratio (Vr) equal to 1.0, PEG 1450 24.9% (w/w), phosphate 12.6% (w/w) and system pH of 8.0 allowed B-phycoerythrin recovery with a purity of 2.9 (estimated as the relation of the 545-280 nm absorbances). The use of ATPS resulted in a primary recovery process that produced a protein purity of 2.9±0.2 and an overall product yield of 77.0% (w/w). The results reported demonstrated the practical implementation of ATPS for the design of a primary recovery process as a first step for the commercial purification of B-phycoerythrin produced by P. cruentum. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.