Falling water ice affinity purification of ice-binding proteins

Chen Adar, Vera Sirotinskaya, Maya Bar Dolev, Tomer Friehmann, Ido Braslavsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) permit their hosts to thrive in the presence of ice. The ability of IBPs to control ice growth makes them potential additives in industries ranging from food storage and cryopreservation to anti-icing systems. For IBPs to be used in commercial applications, however, methods are needed to produce sufficient quantities of high-quality proteins. Here, we describe a new method for IBP purification, termed falling water ice affinity purification (FWIP). The method is based on the affinity of IBPs for ice and does not require molecular tags. A crude IBP solution is allowed to flow over a chilled vertical surface of a commercial ice machine. The temperature of the surface is lowered gradually until ice crystals are produced, to which the IBPs bind but other solutes do not. We found that a maximum of 35 mg of IBP was incorporated in 1 kg of ice. Two rounds of FWIP resulted in >95% purity. An ice machine that produces 60 kg of ice per day can be used to purify one gram of IBP per day. In combination with efficient concentration of the protein solution by tangential flow filtration the FWIP method is suitable for the purification of grams of IBPs for research purposes and applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number11046
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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