Membrane adsorbers comprising grafted glycopolymers for targeted lectin binding

J Appl Polym Sci. 2015 Jun 5;132(21):1-7. doi: 10.1002/app.41437.


This work details the design and testing of affinity membrane adsorbers for lectin purifications that incorporate glucose-containing glycopolymers. It is the selective interaction between the sugar residues of the glycopolymer and the complementary carbohydrate-binding domain of the lectin that provides the basis for the isolation and purification of lectins from complex biological media. The design approach used in these studies was to graft glycopolymer 'tentacles' from macroporous regenerated cellulose membranes by atom transfer radical polymerization. As shown in earlier studies, this design approach can be used to prepare high-productivity membrane adsorbers. The model lectin, concanavalin A (conA), was used to evaluate membrane performance in bind-and-elute purification, using a low molecular weight sugar for elution. The membrane capacity for binding conA was measured at equilibrium and under dynamic conditions using flow rates of 0.1 and 1.0 mL/min. The first Damkohler number was estimated to relate the adsorption rate to the convective mass transport rate through the membrane bed. It was used to assess whether adsorption kinetics or mass transport contributed the primary limitation to conA binding. Analyses indicate that this system is not limited by the accessibility of the binding sites, but by the inherent rate of adsorption of conA onto the glycopolymer.