This study provides a detailed investigation into the performance of a stimuli responsive ELP-Z based process for monoclonal antibody (mAb) affinity precipitation. A multidimensional high-throughput screening (HTS) protocol was developed and employed to investigate the effects of a variety of operating conditions on mAb yield and aggregation during the process. Precipitation efficiency of ELP-Z in the absence of mAb was first determined as a function of temperature and sodium sulfate concentration and conditions producing high yields were identified. HTS was then employed to determine appropriate conditions for the initial capture and co-precipitation of mAbs at high yields using ELP-Z. mAb elution from ELP-Z was then examined using HTS and the mAb yields and aggregate content of the overall process were determined. It was observed that mAb aggregation was sensitive primarily to the elution conditions and that this behavior was antibody specific and a strong function of operating temperature and elution pH. Importantly, for both mAbs examined in this study, the results indicated that room temperature operation and appropriate elution pH could be readily employed to produce both high mAb yields and low aggregate content using this approach. This study demonstrates the ability of ELP-Z based affinity precipitation for mAb purification and shows that HTS can be successfully employed to rapidly develop a robust and high yield process. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2013;110: 2664–2676. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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