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Study of new aqueous two-phase systems combining ionic liquids and mono- and disubstituted polyethylene glycol

Grant number: 16/06107-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): April 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Principal researcher:Jorge Pereira
Grantee:Nathalia de Almeida Santos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/16424-7 - Optimization and scale-up of liquid-liquid extraction process with ionic liquids (ILs) as a sustainable tool for the separation of the anti-leukemia biopharmaceutical L-asparaginase (ASPase), AP.JP


Nowadays, the search for alternative liquid-liquid extraction systems re-activated the interest in aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS). These systems are suggested to be more inert and biocompatible techniques for the purification, extraction and concentration of several types of biomolecules, in particular proteins and enzymes. However, for proper control of the bioproducts' purification and extraction is necessary to recognize which compounds are able to create ATPS. Thus, and taking into account the main issues of the main FAPESP Young Researcher Project, which aims to optimize the purification of L-Asparaginase, it is essential to determine which compounds allow you to create two immiscible phases, and to determine the critical concentrations of phase forming agents to induce the phase splitting. So, the main objective of this project is to assess which combinations of Ionic Liquids (ILs) and Polymers are able to promote ATPS formation in a water-rich media. Therefore, it will be tested different cholinium- and amine-based ILs, as well as different polymers, namely, mono- and di-substituted polyethylene glycol (PEGs). The modification of PEG alkyl chain end groups allows a proper control of the polymer's ability to accept or donate electrons, and consequently their interactions with water. Thus, through an interactions' fine-tuning it is expected to obtain a series of ATPS with high ability to promote an immiscibility region, decreasing the required concentration of phase-forming compounds (ILs and PEGs) and consequently to increase the ATPS sustainability. (AU)

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