P. Kramberger, D. Glover, A. Štrancar
American Biotechnology Laboratory, 2003, 21(13), 27-8.
Research in molecular and cell biology has shown that macromolecules such as pDNA and virus vectors, together called nanoparticles, have the potential to assist in the prevention and treatment of some human diseases. The most important step in their production is the downstream processing (isolation and cleaning). Precipitation, ultrafiltration, and LC techniques are the most widely used for these purposes, but only LC can purify the product so that it is recognized as safe for therapeutic use. Apart from reduced yield, downstream processing can cause minor or even major modifications in the structure of the biomolecule. Usually these modifications do not affect the activity of the product, but may change its antigenicity. Minimizing these changes to maintain product safety is the main objective in the downstream processing of nanoparticles. For the efficient isolation of labile biomolecules, liquid chromatographic supports should provide fast and efficient separation in order to decrease biomolecule degradation; have high, preferably flow-unaffected capacity and resolution; and exhibit low backpressure. They should be stable, even if harsh conditions are applied during sanitation (e.g., 1 M NaOH), and should be easy to handle and operate. CIM® (Convection Interaction Media) monolithic chromatographic columns (BIA Separations, Ljubljana, Slovenia) meet all of these requirements. This article will discuss the columns and their use on human models and plant viruses and pDNA.