A microdevice assisted approach for the preparation, characterization and selection of continuous aqueous two-phase systems: From micro to bench-scale Academic Article in Scopus uri icon


  • © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.Aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) have emerged as an alternative strategy for the recovery and purification of a wide variety of biological products. Typical process development requires a large screening of experimental conditions towards industrial adoption where continuous processes are preferred. In this work, it was proved that under certain flow conditions, ATPS could be formed continuously inside a microchannel, starting from stocks of phase components. Staggered herringbone chaotic micromixers included within the device sequentially and rapidly prepare two-phase systems across an entire range of useful phase compositions. Two-phase diagrams (binodal curves) were easily plotted using the cloud-point method for systems of different components and compared with previously reported curves for each system, proving that phase formation inside the device correlated with the previously reported diagrams. A proof of concept for sample partitioning in such a microdevice was performed with two different experimental models: BSA and red blood cells. Finally, the microdevice was employed to obtain information about the recovery and partition coefficient of invertase from a real complex mixture of proteins (yeast extract) to design a process for the recovery of the enzyme selecting a suitable system and composition to perform the process at bench-scale.

Publication date

  • January 1, 2016