Team Leader (DSP)

Prof. Dr. Michael Wolff
Prof. Dr. Michael Wolff
Phone: +49 391 67 546 76
Fax: +49 391 6110 588
Room: G25-114

Magnetic Particles for Virus Purification

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Development of Magnetic Particles for Virus Purification Processes


Viruses can be purified by numerous methods like centrifugation, filtration, or chromatography. However, these methods are usually not intended for small scale purification or virus isolation. Furthermore, they are not suited for high-throughput isolations or analysis of patient or environmental samples.

Separation via magnetic particles, is a promising alternative [1]. Classically, magnetic particle separation is based on antibodies immobilized onto magnetic beads, allowing a specific isolation of target (macro-)molecules up to cells. However, use of the method requires specific antibodies for every target which increases costs and narrows down its field of applications. Both disadvantages can be circumvented, by using pseudo-affinity ligands based on small molecules, like sulfated carbohydrates, which are applicable for a wide range of targets [2-5].

Fig. 1. Magnetic sulfated cellulose particles (MSCP) Zoom Image
Fig. 1. Magnetic sulfated cellulose particles (MSCP)

Aim of the project

Combining the advantages of pseudo-affinity ligands with magnetic separation, we develop magnetic sulfated cellulose particles (MSCP) to purify or deplete a variety of viruses including influenza A and B virus and modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) virus [6-7].


Borlida, L., Azevedo, A. M., Roque, A. C., Aires-Barros, M. R.:
Magnetic separations in biotechnology.
O'Neil, P. F., Balkovic, E. S.:
Virus Harvesting and Affinity-Based Liquid Chromatography.
Wolff, M.; Siewert, C.; Hansen, S. P.; Faber, R.; Reichl, U.: Purification of cell culture-derived modified Vaccinia Ankara virus by pseudo-affinity membrane adsorbers and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 107 (2), pp. 312 - 320 (2010)
Opitz, L.; Lehmann, S.; Reichl, U.; Wolff, M. W.: Sulfated membrane adsorbers for economic pseudo-affinity capture of influenza virus particles. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 103 (6), pp. 1144 - 1154 (2009)
Fortuna, A. R.; Taft, F.; Villain, L.; Wolff, M. W.; Reichl, U.: Optimization of cell culture-derived influenza A virus particles purification using sulfated cellulose membrane adsorbers. Engineering in Life Sciences 18 (1), pp. 29 - 39 (2018)
Serve, A.; Pieler, M.; Benndorf, D.; Rapp, E.; Wolff, M. W.; Reichl, U.: Comparison of Influenza Virus Particle Purification Using Magnetic Sulfated Cellulose Particles with an Established Centrifugation Method for Analytics. Analytical Chemistry 87 (21), pp. 10708 - 10711 (2015)
Pieler, M.; Frentzel, S.; Bruder , D.; Wolff, M. W.; Reichl, U.: A cell culture-derived whole virus influenza A vaccine based on magnetic sulfated cellulose particles confers protection in mice against lethal influenza A virus infection. Vaccine 34 (50), pp. 6367 - 6374 (2016)
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