Service and range of services

Downstream Processing of Proteins

Chromatographic methods

Various chromatographic methods are available at the Fraunhofer IGB for the development and implementation of purification processes for proteins in bacterial or eukaryotic fermentation broths and other protein-containing liquids:

  • Anion and cation exchange chromatography,
  • Gel chromatography (size exclusion),
  • Hydrophobic interaction chromatography
  • Different modes of affinity chromatography (Ca-, Ni-, immunoaffinity, protein A).

Equipment for continuous chromatographic processes, such as the SMB and MCSGP processes, is also available.

The chromatographic processes can be carried out both on an analytical and a preparative scale.

Filtration and dialysis

The purification, concentration and dialysis of protein solutions via continuous micro- or ultrafiltration can be carried out with appropriate methods and equipment.

  • Äkta-Cross-Flow for purification, concentration and dialysis of protein solutions via continuous micro- or ultrafiltration
  • Methods Scouting


Characterization methods for proteins

For the characterization of proteins are established:


  • Electrophoretic methods: SDS page, isoelectric focusing, 2D electrophoresis
  • Reversed phase chromatography C4 for purity testing
  • Reversed phase chromatography for peptide separation, e.g. after tryptic digestion of a protein
  • MALDI-TOF-MS mass spectroscopy, N- and C-terminal sequencing are possible
  • ESI-MS - Electro-Spray Ionization-MS


 Examples of protein purification carried out

  • Recovery of exoenzymes from fermentation broths
  • Processing of antibodies (immunoglobulins G)
  • Processing of mistletoe lectins
  • Preparation of PEGylated enzymes
  • Processing of tagged proteins
  • Extraction of the sweetener thaumatin (native and transgenic) from the original plant or from cereal grains
  • Preparation of bacteriorhodopsin from halobacteria

Examples for developments of biosimilars

The Fraunhofer IGB also develops biosimilars (imitation products of biopharmaceuticals) based on animal/human cell lines. This includes the upstream process, fermentation and downstream process. The following biosimilars are already on the market:
  • Purification of interferon-1a (from CHO cells, glycosylated)
  • Purification of interferon-1b (from Escherichia coli, not glycosylated, extraction, SEC, IEX, refolding in-column)
  • Blood clotting factor F-VII from BHK cells: anion exchange, pseudoaffinity