Improved Chemical Functionality of Nylon C-CP Fibers via Microwave Energy (2016-042)

Market Overview:

These modified nylon-6 capillary-channeled polymer (C-CP) fibers exhibit greater chemical versatility and higher binding capacity without compromising the physical structure that provides very high throughput and yield in analytical protein separations and downstream processing in comparison to conventional phases.  This modification uses microwave-assisted grafting polymerization to enhance the nylon-6 C-CP fibers for use as chromatographic stationary phases. Protein purification, which includes ion-exchange chromatography, is a growing market expected to reach $6,370 million by 2020. Due to its lower degree of hydrophobicity than polypropylene and polyester, nylon-6 C-CP fibers are of great interest for use in hydrophobic interaction chromatography and mixed-mode stationary phases for protein separations. However, when researchers attempt standard nylon surface modifications they find it causes structural damage, compromising the fibers. Clemson University researchers have developed a microwave-assisted modification to enhance nylon-6 C-CP fibers without compromising the fiber structure. The modified fibers demonstrate greater chemical versatility and higher binding capacities without sacrificing the highly efficient hydrodynamic transport properties of C-CP fiber columns.


Application                                                                                        Stage of Development

Chromatography; downstream processing; protein analytics              Prototype




• Exhibits higher ligand densities than other nylon modifications, allowing greater chemical versatility

  and higher binding capacity


• Reduces downstream processing costs, enhancing utility of C-CP fiber phases in various applications


• Surface is protein-friendly and has a high level of hydrophilicity



Technical Summary

Clemson University researchers have modified nylon-6 C-CP fibers with sulfonic acid by a microwave-assisted grafting polymerization of 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS) to yield a strong cation exchange (SCX) phase for protein separations. The same chemistry, using acrylic acid, provides for a high-density weak cation exchange (WCX) surface.  The combined use of simple vinyl group chemistry in a microwave oven affords much greater binding capacity, while imparting the vital ability to affect ion exchange separations in a cost-effective manner. The large number of commercially available vinyl monomers makes the microwave-assisted grafting polymerization a very versatile, but simple method to offer nylon C-CP fibers different types of surface chemistry. This microwave-assisted grafting polymerization holds promise for creation of phases for both analytical and preparative scale separations, with the promise of further diversification of the potential C-CP fiber surface modalities.



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Inventors:                        Richard Kenneth Marcus, Liuwei Jiang



Patent Type:                    Provisional



Serial Number:               62/352,247



CURF Reference:           2016-042


Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
Richard Kenneth Marcus
Liuwei Jiang
Drugs/Pharma - HIV/Cancer/Other
Textiles/Fibers - Non-Optical/Medical/Other
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