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This article examines the feasibility of using ultrafiltration to separate the monomer of the monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab (Campath or Campath-1H) from a mixture of dimer and higher-order oligomers (collectively called "dimers" here). Using parameter scanning ultrafiltration, we initially assessed the suitability of the following membranes: 100 kDa and 300 kDa polyethersulfone (PES) membranes, and a 100 kDa polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane. A detailed study was then carried out to examine the effects of operating conditions (such as solution pH, ionic strength, stirring speed, and permeate flux) on the separation of the monomer from the dimers using 300 kDa PES and 100 kDa PVDF membranes. Results of the experiments carried out in the carrier phase ultrafiltration (CPUF) mode indicate that the size-based protein-protein separation critically depends on the membrane used as well as the system hydrodynamics. The separation of the monoclonal antibody monomer and dimers using 100 kDa PVDF membranes in the diafiltration mode was also examined. Experimental results demonstrate that under suitable conditions, it is feasible to obtain the alemtuzumab monomer with a purity of more than 93% and a yield of more than 85% (from a mixture of 75% monomer and 25% dimers, which is the typical composition obtained after affinity chromatography). Simulation study indicates that this could be further improved to a purity of more than 96% and a monomer yield of more than 96% by increasing the selectivity of separation or by employing a two-stage diafiltration process.

Original publication




Journal article


Biotechnol Bioeng

Publication Date





422 - 432


Alemtuzumab, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized, Antibodies, Neoplasm, Dimerization, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Salts, Ultrafiltration