M13 bacteriophage purification using poly(ionic liquids) as alternative separation matrices

Maria João Jacinto, David J.S. Patinha, Isabel M. Marrucho, João Gonçalves, Richard C. Willson, Ana M. Azevedo, M. Raquel Aires-Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


M13 is a filamentous, non-lytic bacteriophage that infects Escherichia coli via the F pilus. Currently, phage M13 is widely used in phage display technology and bio-nanotechnology, and is considered a possible antibacterial therapeutic agent, among other applications. Conventional phage purification involves 5–7 operational steps, with high operational costs and significant product loss (approximately 60%). In this work, we propose a scalable purification process for M13 bacteriophage using a novel stationary phase based on a polymeric ionic liquid (PIL) with a positively charged backbone structure. Poly (1–vinyl-3-ethyl imidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide) - poly(VEIM-TFSI) predominantly acted as an anion exchanger under binding-elution mode. This revealed to be a rapid and simple method for the recovery of phage M13 with an overall separation yield of over 70% after a single downstream step. To the best of our knowledge, PILs have never been used as separation matrices for biological products and the results obtained, together with the large number of cations and anions available to prepare PILs, illustrate well the large potential of the proposed methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
StatePublished - Jan 12 2018


  • Anion exchange
  • Batch adsorption
  • Downstream processing
  • M13 bacteriophage
  • Poly(ionic liquids)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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