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Abstract

Utilizing a modified form of the Flory-Huggins theory of polymer solution thermodynamics, a generalized expression has been obtained for correlating protein partitioning in the polyethylene glycol (PEG)/dextran aqueous two-phase systems. The expression relates the natural logarithm of the partition coefficient of the protein to the polymer concentration difference between the phases. The parameters of the relationship are a function of protein and phase forming polymer molecular weight, protein-water, protein-polymer and polymer-water interaction parameters, and the electrostatic potential difference between the phases. The relationship was verified by partitioning 17 proteins covering a wide range of molecular weight in the tie lines of the above systems, along with data from the literature. This correlation will facilitate the selection and engineering scale-up of aqueous two-phase systems for biomolecule purification.