Characterization of Aqueous Two-Phase Systems and Their Potential New Applications
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© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG. Characterization of aqueous two-phase systems is an important procedure crucial for their successful operation. In these systems, the partition behavior of the solutes not only depends on their physicochemical properties but on the selected system design parameters which vary in a case-by-case basis. The selection of the phase-forming chemicals, their concentration, and other additives such as inert salts directly impacts certain intrinsic properties that need to be studied in order to fully understand the phenomena that lead to a specific partition behavior. This is due to the fact that properties such as surface tension, electric potential, electrochemical charge, hydrophobicity, and viscosity will all interact in a certain manner with the solutes and will dictate the thermodynamic equilibrium at which a specific partition will be achieved. This chapter presents an insight in the different aspects and properties that need to be measured in ATPS operations regarding both the system (i.e., phase-forming chemical properties, concentration, volume ratios) and the solutes (i.e., physicochemical characteristics) to be processed in order to better understand partition behaviors and certain procedures to do so. It also presents some of the most advances tendencies to achieve this characterization which then have an impact in the development of better strategies. These advances are also reflected in novel uses that are being given to ATPS operations both in bioprocessing and as an analytical tool which are also discussed.