Aqueous Two-Phase System Strategies for the Recovery and Partial Purification of Bioactive Low Molecular Weight Compounds
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© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG. In the last two decades, there has been an increase in the market of bioactive low molecular weight compounds (LMWCs) due to their wide applications. This has motived the development and application of different methods to perform their extraction, recovery, and purification, taking into consideration strategies that have advantages over traditional extraction techniques. In this context, aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) represent an attractive alternative to conventional downstream processing techniques. Although the studies related to the partition of biomolecules in ATPS have mainly focused on macrobiomolecules (proteins, nucleic acids, etc.) and bioparticles (viruses, viruslike particles, organelles, cells, etc.), reports in literature demonstrate the great potential of ATPS for the recovery and partial purification of LMWC. The aim of this chapter is to review the application of ATPS for the extraction, recovery, and partial purification of low molecular weight compounds. Selected studies presenting the state-of-the-art in the topic are discussed, and finally future trends in the use of ATPS for the fractionation of LMWC are envisioned.