Although the field of antibody drugs has grown larger, the antibody production still faces several challenges. Effective antibody purification is required, but the conventional purification method for antibodies is cost intensive and often causes aggregation problems, indicating the need for new alternative antibody purification methods. In the present study, a constant temperature antibody purification system for use with a thermo-responsive polymer column was developed based on switching of anion species in eluents. By adjusting the temperature for each antibody, the developed column enabled separation of the therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, rituximab and trastuzumab, from contaminants without changing salt concentration or pH of the eluents. The thermo-responsive hydrogel-modified column packing material was synthesized by introducing n-butyl methacrylate, acrylic acid, N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide and N-isopropylacrylamide to the surface of silica beads with an initiator by a graft-from approach. Elution behavior of antibodies with three types of anions, such as citrate, phosphate, and chloride were tested under three different temperature conditions. It was demonstrated that the thermo-responsive hydrogel grafted column showed a switchable antibody retention behavior at constant temperature and salt concentration, with antibody adsorption by NaCl eluent and desorption by citric acid buffer eluent.
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