Step gradients in 3-zone simulated moving bed chromatography. Application to the purification of antibodies and bone morphogenetic protein-2

J Chromatogr A. 2007 Dec 28;1176(1-2):69-78. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2007.10.087. Epub 2007 Nov 1.


The simulated moving bed (SMB) technology is a proven tool for efficient separation of binary mixtures. However, relying on isocratic conditions limits the applicability of the classical SMB approach when considering the field of bioseparations. Here, the use of gradients opens up new possibilities. A gradient in a SMB process can be established by using different solvent strengths in the incoming feed and desorbent streams, resulting in two internal plateaus of elution strength. Thus, compared to the conventional process, the overall amount of solvent needed can be reduced, productivity can be increased and more concentrated product streams can be obtained. In this contribution, two case studies will be presented. At first, the separation of bovine IgG from lysozyme will be analyzed as a model system. Antibodies are a common target substance in bio-chromatography, as therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are among the most promising biopharmaceuticals. Using adsorption data obtained from single-column experiments, an appropriate SMB process was designed and implemented. The second target component is the active dimeric form of the bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). This protein was isolated from a renaturation solution, which also contained its inactive monomeric form as well as other undefined proteins from the bacterial production strain. A 3-zone open-loop gradient-SMB approach was used successfully for both separations.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / isolation & purification*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Dimerization
  • Immunoglobulin G / chemistry
  • Muramidase / chemistry
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / isolation & purification*


  • Antibodies
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Muramidase