Biopharmaceuticals main classes comprise recombinant proteins, antibodies, and nucleic-acid-derived products, while synthetic pharmaceuticals include a wide variety of organic compounds. The purification of (bio)pharmaceuticals, as part of downstream processing, is mainly carried out by chromatographic processes, which are responsible for the therapeutics high cost. Therefore, there is a crucial need on the development of novel and more efficient separation/purification processes or on the improvement of the current chromatographic-based ones, aiming at producing pharmaceuticals of high quality and at a lower cost. Amongst alternative techniques, it has been demonstrated that inorganic or organic (nano)particles, used in solid-phase extraction approaches, may be promising for the purification of (bio)pharmaceuticals. This chapter provides an overview on solid-liquid separation/purification processes used to obtain high purity and high quality pharmaceuticals. The main purification processes are described and summarized. The areas where there has been a sustainable progress, combined with improved therapeutic characteristics, are highlighted. Materials based on silica (nano)particles, carbon-based (nano)particles (carbon nanotubes, graphene and activated carbon) and magnetic (nano)particles are overviewed. Based on the reported results, nanotechnology may play a key role in future pharmaceutical developments and manufacturing, where the design of suitable functionalized (nano)particles is a crucial factor to enhance the selectivity and to obtain high purification and recovery yields of (bio)pharmaceuticals.
Keywords: (Bio)pharmaceuticals, Carbon-based (Nano)particles, Downstream Processing, Magnetic (Nano)particles, Nanotechnology, Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing, Purification Techniques, Silica (Nano)particles, Solid-liquid Extraction, Solid-phase Extraction.