Rational design of affinity ligands for bioseparation

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Affinity adsorbents have been the cornerstone in protein purification. The selective nature of the molecular recognition interactions established between an affinity ligands and its target provide the basis for efficient capture and isolation of proteins. The plethora of affinity adsorbents available in the market reflects the importance of affinity chromatography in the bioseparation industry. Ligand discovery relies on the implementation of rational design techniques, which provides the foundation for the engineering of novel affinity ligands. The main goal for the design of affinity ligands is to discover or improve functionality, such as increased stability or selectivity. However, the methodologies must adapt to the current needs, namely to the number and diversity of biologicals being developed, and the availability of new tools for big data analysis and artificial intelligence. In this review, we offer an overview on the development of affinity ligands for bioseparation, including the evolution of rational design techniques, dating back to the years of early discovery up to the current and future trends in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number460871
JournalJournal Of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020


  • Affinity ligands
  • Bioseparation
  • Downstream processing
  • Molecular recognition
  • Rational design


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