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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Are 'Polymerics' Coming of Age?

The words prep, process and polymerics are becoming more and more associated together in the biopharma industry as new macroporous polymeric resins are increasingly used in the final 'polishing' of pharma products. Originally polymeric resins were designed as soft gels like cellulose-based gels with low cross linker contents that shrank and swelled with varying solvent conditions and so were not ideal for HPLC due to their poor pressure stability. These gels are classified as microporous gels. They have completely separate and distinct physical and chemical characteristics compared to macroporous gels. Over the years however, polymeric gels have been grouped together and silica-based gels have remained the media support of choice for reversed phase HPLC.

Advances in polymeric design and the inert characteristics of the support have allowed companies in the biopharma industry to re-examine polymerics as viable, if not better, alternatives to silica-based materials. Here we discuss some of the benefits offered by polymerics, making them a viable and economic chromatographic solution for preparative and process chromatography. Polymeric resin design has long since overcome the problems associated with soft gels such as poor mechanical stability, extreme particle swell or shrinkage with solvent composition, low pressure rating and long runtimes, thus making the process less time-consuming, easier and more reproducible for mass production scale.


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By Dr Mark Millichip, HPLC Applications Technical Support Specialist at Polymer Laboratories Ltd

Dr Mark Millichip has been with Polymer Laboratories for three years as an HPLC Technical Support Specialist, with roles in customer support, project management and applications, and product research and development. Mark's chromatographic expertise comes from several years of post-doctoral biochemistry research on various projects at several UK universities, where he was involved in the characterisation, isolation and purification of biomolecules, including proteins and peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and oligonucleotides.

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Dr Mark Millichip
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