Novel aspects and future trends in the use of aqueous two-phase systems as a bioengineering tool
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© 2017 Society of Chemical Industry Traditionally, aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) have been used as a liquid¿liquid extraction technique for the primary recovery and purification of biological samples. The enormous potential of their usage comes with great economical and technical advantages mainly due to the mild physicochemical environment. Nowadays, the use of ATPS as a bioengineering technique is approaching an era where new possibilities are being explored to maximize their use and implementation in the development of novel practical applications and tools. In this context, `intelligent¿ polymers are being used as phase forming chemicals in ATPS in route to process integration. Extractive fermentation in ATPS is being re-evaluated with the aim of effectively growing microorganisms while recovering their fermentation products in different phases. ATPS are also being used as a tool for refolding of proteins. There are also several innovative efforts being made towards implementing this bioengineering tool as a continuous process moving away from traditional batch operations. In general, the possibilities of implementing ATPS in different bioprocessing aspects are growing considerably and gaining importance. This review aims to present the novel trends in the use and development of ATPS strategies as complete bioengineering tools and to provide a full perspective of their possibilities in the near future. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.