Isothermal titration calorimeters (ITCs) are thermodynamic instruments used for the determination of enthalpy changes in any physical/chemical reaction. This can be applied in various fields of biotechnology. This review explains ITC applications, especially in bioseparation, drug development and cell metabolism. In liquid chromatography, the separation/purification of specific proteins or polypeptides in a mixture is usually achieved by varying the adsorption affinities of the different proteins/polypeptides for the adsorbent under different mobile-phase conditions and temperatures. Using ITC analysis, the binding mechanism of proteins with adsorbent solid material is derived by elucidating enthalpy and entropy changes, which offer valuable guidelines for designing experimental conditions in chromatographic separation. The binding affinity of a drug with its target is studied by deriving binding enthalpy and binding entropy. To improve the binding affinity, suitable lead compounds for a drug can be identified and their affinity tested by ITC. Recently ITC has also been used in studying cell metabolism. The heat produced by animal cells in culture can be used as a primary indicator of the kinetics of cell metabolism, which provides key information for drug bioactivity and operation parameters for process cell culture.
- Binding affinity
- Isothermal titration calorimetry