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Interactions between protein molecules and the virus removal membrane surface: Effects of immunoglobulin G adsorption and conformational changes on filter performance

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Membrane fouling commonly occurs in all filter types during virus filtration in protein‐based biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Mechanisms of decline in virus filter performance due to membrane fouling were investigated using a cellulose‐based virus filter as a model membrane. Filter performance was critically dependent on solution conditions; specifically, ionic strength. To understand the interaction between immunoglobulin G (IgG) and cellulose, sensors coated with cellulose were fabricated for surface plasmon resonance and quartz crystal microbalance with energy dissipation measurements. The primary cause of flux decline appeared to be irreversible IgG adsorption on the surface of the virus filter membrane. In particular, post‐adsorption conformational changes in the IgG molecules promoted further irreversible IgG adsorption, a finding that could not be adequately explained by DLVO theory. Analyses of adsorption and desorption and conformational changes in IgG molecules on cellulose surfaces mimicking cellulose‐based virus removal membranes provide an effective approach for identifying ways of optimizing solution conditions to maximize virus filter performance. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 34:379–386, 2018
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Keywords: flux decline; protein adsorption; virus filter

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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