• monoclonal antibodies;
  • phenyl boronate;
  • affinity chromatography;
  • downstream processing;
  • capture;
  • purification


In this work, we investigated the feasibility of using phenyl boronate (PB) chromatography for the direct capture of monoclonal antibodies from a CHO cell supernatant. Preliminary results, using pure protein solutions have shown that PB media can bind to human antibodies, not only at strong alkaline conditions but also at acidic pH values. In fact, antibodies have been found to bind in the pH range 5.5–8.5. On the other hand, insulin and human serum albumin did not bind at alkaline pH but at lower pH, which reflects the importance of non-specific interactions with the matrix. Different binding and eluting buffers were evaluated for the capture of immunoglobulin G (IgG) from a CHO cell supernatant and the most promising results were obtained using 20 mM 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid at pH 8.5 as binding buffer and 1.5 M Tris–HCl as eluting buffer. Using a step elution, all IgG was recovered in the elution pool with a maximum purification factor of 56. A gradient elution allowed a further increase of the final purity, yet achieving a slightly lower yield. IgG recovery was around 85% and the purification factor was 76. The highest purity was obtained when the pH of the cell supernatant feed was previously adjusted to 8.5. Starting from an initial protein purity of 1.1% and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) purity of 2.2%, after PB adsorption, a final protein purity of 85% and a HPLC purity of 88% was achieved. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.