Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Protein separation by using anionic carbosilane dendrimers.

Posted by Universidad de Alcalá-OTRIResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

BIODEN research group (Biomedical applications of dendrimers) from the Department of Inorganic Chemistry of the University of Alcala along with the research group of Micro(sep) from the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering have developed a technology based on the use of anionic dendrimers as nanoadditives in capillary electrophoresis (CE) for protein separation, more specifically for obtaining protein profiles useful in food characterization. The groups look for companies of chemical, pharmaceutical or biotechnological sector to sign research collaboration agreements or license agreements.

New and innovative aspects

-Dendrimers are macromolecules with three-dimensional structures which have shown enormous applicability and whose main advantage is its versatility to modify its skeleton and surface.

-Dendrimers can interact with proteins and these interactions can lead to the formation of stable complexes.

-Carbosilane dendrimers with terminal anionic groups can be a very useful analytical tool to improve protein profiles to characterize samples of plant foods, since hydrophobic nature inside of the dendrimeters can maximize the interaction of these systems with proteins to analyse and therefore improve their separation by CE.

- These profiles are a useful analytical tool for differentiation and classification of various foods. The utility of these profiles depends on the reproducibility of the electrophoretic method and the number of resolved peaks obtained, since this allows a complete comparison of various profiles and ensures their own specificity 

Main advantages of its use

-A very useful analytical tool

-Clear improvement of protein profiles.

-More efficient interactions with proteins.

-Faster and higher separation efficiency.

-It is a cleaner technique because the sample and reagents consumption is much lower.


In the present invention carbosilane dendrimers are described with an inside constituted by carbon-silicon bonds and a negative charged surface, used for protein separation by capillary electrophoresis (CE) and a potentiometric assessment.

The use of the dendrimers of the present technology, that is dendrimers with carbosilane structure functionalized with anionic groups in the surface, is interesting since these systems have a hydrophilic surface due to negative charges of the terminal groups (COO-, SO3- o PO32-) and they lend water solubility, but at the same time they have a skeleton with hydrophobic character. The ambiphilic of these systems leads to interactions with proteins more efficient than the ones presented by anionic Starburst PAMAM dendrimers, since these dendrimers do not have this hydrophobic character.

Therefore the dendrimers used in the present invention are proposed as attractive nanoadditives for plant protein separation by electrokinetic chromatography (EKC) since they allow a clear improvement of the protein profiles.

Therefore, a first aspect of the present invention is referred to the use of anionic carbosilane dendrimer which includes polyfunctional nucleus and an external cape.

In the specific case in which analytes are separated by capillary electrophoresis according to their relative affinity by pseudo-stationary phase, this technique is named electrokinetic chromatography (EKC).

In a favourite realization of the present invention, the electrophoresis is carried out with the following conditions: voltage between 15 and 25 kV, temperature between 20ºC y 30 ºC; preferably the sample is introduced by pressure (hydrodynamic injection), more preferably to pressure of 50 mbar approximately and much more preferably during 5 to 10 seconds; moreover preferably it is used a capillary of 50-75 μm internal diameter and 50-60 cm total length and with a basic buffer.

The basic buffer used in the present invention is any to pH higher than 6 and known for any expert in the field, preferably pH between 8 and 9.5, and much preferably is used a cheap buffer.

The proteins to separate in the present invention could be both animals and plants, preferably are plants.

The plant proteins to analyse can come from all kind of foods like for  example cereals, soy, olives, legumes, fruits, among others, or from their seeds, that is every plant food which can be susceptible to adulterate and/or manipulate varying its proteins and hence, its beneficial properties as food.

By separating these proteins it may be obtained the protein profiles of the analysed foods. For protein profiles” in the present invention refers to a set of registered peaks after electrophoretic separation and attributed to proteins that identify or are characteristic of the food to be analysed.

Therefore, performing a traceability between protein profiles of a known food (or pattern) and other to analyse, they can be used in a particular way for the characterization of a food.

Understanding by “characterization of a food” the determination of the quality and/or its own authenticity.


  • For protein separation, more specifically for obtaining protein profiles useful in  food characterization. 
  • Chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnological and food sector

Related keywords

  • Biochemistry / Biophysics Technology
  • Protein Engineering
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Medical Research
  • Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
  • Virus, Virology / Antibiotics / Bacteriology
  • Molecular design Technology
  • Biopolymers
  • Pharmaceuticals/fine chemicals
  • Chemicals and Materials
  • Food and feed ingredients
  • Health food
  • Egg and Egg Products Meat and Meat Products, Game and Poultry
  • Fish, Shellfish and Molluscs
  • Dairy Products
  • Foodstuffs Intended For Special Nutritional Uses
  • anionic carbosilane dendrimers
  • Proteins
  • capillary electrophoresis
  • nanoadditives
  • hydrophilic surface
  • foods.

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Research & Technology Organization from Spain

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

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