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Addressing challenges in the ultrafiltration of biomolecules from complex aqueous environments

Substantial progress has been made in ultrafiltration processes toward the separation of colloidal species from aqueous environments. Studies, especially in the past decade, have advanced the separations using functional and nano-structured membrane materials and a thorough understanding of colloid-membrane and colloid-colloid interactions in aqueous media. In this context, this review describes the recent advances in ultrafiltration of biomolecular species, most specifically proteins, from complex environments involving a range of molecular species and ionic and nonionic substances with varying concentrations. Ongoing efforts hint that the complexity of the interactions plays a critical role in the success of the ultrafiltration process that requires system-specific investigation of the ultrafiltration process and process parameters.