Skip to main content

Extraction and encapsulation of proteins using supercritical fluid microemulsions


Medical and veterinary science is increasingly using antibodies and other large protein-based biomolecules as vaccines and as therapy for a wide range of diseases. The production of these agents has been one of the driving forces behind the development of biotechnology. Indeed, the volume production of many proteins (e.g. interferon) is now possible. However, the subsequent processing of the protein substance for consumption presents a number of problems. Firstly, their is the need for very specific extraction and purification of the protein from the source, whether itt be natural or as a result of a biotechnological process. Most current extraction/purification processes do not offer an economically viable balance between purity and yield. Secondly, these substances are susceptible both to atmospheric oxidation and temperature/pH changes, and this can result in the denaturing of large proportions of the desired product, reducing its effectiveness. These problems are the major limiting factor in the exploitation of protein-based pharmaceutical products. The development of a continuous flow, in line extraction/encapsulation process, with a high level of environmental control, would allow the efficient production of these fragile substances at relatively low-cost, in an encapstulated form resistant to deterioration. Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) has now progressed (with the demonstration of supercritical fluid microemulsions) to become a viable method of extracting proteins with high purity and yield. In addition, there are a number of approaches to encapsulation of proteins which can be incorporated with the extraction as a continuous, in-line process. This project will focus on the fundamental development of a continuous, in-line extraction and encapsulation process for protein bioimolecules. A number of issues will be addressed; - The development of a demonstrated SFE concept for the volume extraction of a number of test pharmaceutical proteins. - The development of suitable in-line encapsulation techniques, to protect the proteins from deterioration once extracted. - The incorporation of both extraction and encapsulation into a controlled, continuous, in-line process.


111,Zone Industrielle Athélia Iii, Voie Atlas
13705 Marignane