multifraction separation in countercurrent chromatography (MCSGP)

Authors

  • Martin Krättli,

    1. Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 10/HCI F 129, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Thomas Müller-Späth,

    1. Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 10/HCI F 129, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
    2. ChromaCon AG, Technoparkstrasse 1, CH-8005 Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Massimo Morbidelli

    Corresponding author
    • Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 10/HCI F 129, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
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Correspondence to: Massimo Morbidelli

telephone: +41 44 6323034; fax: +41 44 6321082; e-mail: massimo.morbidelli@chem.ethz.ch

ABSTRACT

The multicolumn countercurrent solvent gradient purification (MCSGP) process is a continuous countercurrent multicolumn chromatography process capable of performing three fraction separations while applying a linear gradient of some modifier. This process can then be used either for the purification of a single species from a multicomponent mixture or to separate a three component mixture in one single operation. In this work, this process is extended to the separation of multifractions, in principle with no limitation. To achieve this goal the MCSGP standard process is extended by introducing one extra separation section per extra fraction to be isolated. Such an extra separation section is realized in this work through a single additional column, so that a n fraction MCSGP process can be realized using a minimum of n columns. Two separation processes were considered to experimentally demonstrate the possibility of realizing a four-fraction MCSGP unit able to purify two intermediate products in a given multicomponent mixture. The first one was a model mixture containing four different proteins. The two proteins eluting in the center of the chromatogram were purified with yields equal to 95% for the early eluting and 92% for the later eluting one. The corresponding purities were 94% and 97%, respectively. Such performance was well superior to that of the batch operation with the same modifier gradient which for the same purity values could not achieve yields larger than 67% and 81%, respectively. Similar performance improvements were found for the second separation where two out of seven charge variants which constitute the mAb Cetuximab currently available on the market have been purified in one single operation using a four-fraction MCSGP unit. In this case, yields of 81% and 65% were obtained with purities of 90% and 89%, respectively. These data compare well with the corresponding data from batch chromatography where with the same gradient and for the same purities, yield values not larger than 49% and 34%, respectively, could be achieved. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2013; 110:2436–2444. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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