Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Invention could help pharmaceutical industry save money

Date:
April 30, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Researchers have invented a protein purifier that could help pharmaceutical companies save time and money. Chemists have developed high-performance membranes that are highly suitable for protein purification, a crucial step in the development of some new drugs.

MSU chemists Merlin Bruening and Gregory Baker have invented a protein purifier that could save pharmaceutical companies time and money.
Credit: Photo by G.L. Kohuth

Two Michigan State University researchers have invented a protein purifier that could help pharmaceutical companies save time and money.

The details of the invention, which appear in a recent issue of the journal Langmuir, demonstrate that MSU chemists Merlin Bruening and Greg Baker's high-performance membranes are highly suitable for protein purification, a crucial step in the development of some new drugs.

Purifying proteins, the process of isolating a single, desired protein from all others, is an expensive, time-consuming hurdle that contributes to the high cost of some prescription drugs. Obtaining pure proteins, however, is a necessary step to increasing these drugs' effectiveness and safety. Streamlining the process could help manufacturers reduce costs, speed new drugs to consumers and reduce pharmaceutical costs, Bruening said.

"The membrane devices that we've manufactured can simplify protein purification by rapidly capturing the desired protein as it flows through membrane pores," said Bruening, who has patented the process and is working to scale up his invention. "Our membranes have two to three times more capacity than existing commercial devices, and they should reduce the purification process time substantially. Typically, our procedures are complete in 30 minutes or less."

The pursuit of a comparable, but complex purification procedure led to the discovery of the researchers' simpler invention. Bruening and his colleague were trying to grow extended polymer chains in the membranes in a multistep, oxygen-free process. Untangling the complexities of the first method led to the revelation that direct adsorption of acidic polymers at low pH is much simpler yet accomplishes the same task of creating extended polymer in the pores. (The purifier uses adsorption rather than absorption; the filter attracts contaminants to its surface rather than sucks them up like a sponge.)

"Once our findings began steering us toward the simpler solution, we began developing simple processes to modify membranes by simply flowing polymer solutions through the membranes," Bruening said.

The next challenge for Bruening and his colleagues will be to upscale his invention so that rapid protein purification with inexpensive membranes becomes a standard for not only pharmaceutical companies, but also researchers trying to rapidly isolate proteins to determine their structure and function.

Fellow MSU chemists Baker, Somnath Bhattacharjee, Jinlan Dong, Yiding Ma, Stacy Hovde and James Geiger and contributed to the paper.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Somnath Bhattacharjee, Jinlan Dong, Yiding Ma, Stacy Hovde, James H. Geiger, Gregory L. Baker, Merlin L. Bruening. Formation of High-Capacity Protein-Adsorbing Membranes through Simple Adsorption of Poly(acrylic acid)-Containing Films at Low pH. Langmuir, 2012; 120416151822005 DOI: 10.1021/la300481e

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Invention could help pharmaceutical industry save money." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120430192623.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, April 30). Invention could help pharmaceutical industry save money. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120430192623.htm
Michigan State University. "Invention could help pharmaceutical industry save money." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120430192623.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins