Nanostructured Membranes Functionalized with Gold Nanoparticles for Separation and Recovery of Monoclonal Antibodies

  • Giada Soldan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The need of purified biomolecules, such as proteins or antibodies, has required the biopharmaceutical industries to look for new recovering solutions to reduce time and costs of bioseparations. In the last decade, the emergent field of membrane chromatography has gained attention as possible substituent of the common used protein A affinity chromatography for bioseparations. In this scenario, gold nanoparticles can be used as means for offering affinity, mainly because of their biocompatible and reversible binding behavior, together with their high surface area-to-volume ratio, which offers a large number of binding sites. This work introduces a new procedure for purification of monoclonal antibodies based on polymeric membranes functionalized with gold nanoparticles. This novel approach shortens the process of purification by promoting selective binding of antibodies, while separating a mixture of biomolecules during a filtration process. The effects of gold nanoparticles and the surrounding ligand on the proteins adsorption and filtration are investigated. The results confirm that the functionalization helps in inducing a selective binding, preventing the non-selective one, and it also improves the selectivity of the separation process.
Date of AwardNov 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorSuzana Nunes (Supervisor)


  • protein purification
  • Membrane Chromatography
  • downstream processing
  • biosparations
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • gold nanoparticles

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