Kor-Zheng Mah

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Applied Science (MASc)


Chemical Engineering


R. Ghosh




Environment-responsive paper-supported composite membranes, consisting of interpenetrating network of poly(N-vinyl caprolactam) and cellulose fibres, suitable for hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography of proteins were prepared. These membranes could be made to switch between hydrophobic and hydrophilic states in a reversible manner by addition or removal of anti-chaotropic salts. A series of systematic studies were conducted to examine the effects of polymer loading and salt concentration on hydraulic and antibody binding properties of these membranes. A membrane possessing a satisfactory balance of hydraulic permeability and antibody binding was further examined for use in an immunoglobulin G (IgG) purification process. The membrane demonstrated low fouling tendency, satisfactory IgG binding (c.a. 12 mg/ml bed volume), and was successfully used for IgG purification from simulated cell culture supernatant. The results obtained demonstrate that the poly(N-vinyl caprolactam)-paper composite and indeed similar material could be used as inexpensive membranes adsorbers for protein purification.

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