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Book Review Affinity Chromatography A Practical Approach. Edited by P. D. G. Dean W. S. Johnson and F. A

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The instructional style of the book makes it easier for
the newcomer to biotechnology to quickly and easily familiarize himself with the subject matter, so as to gain an
understanding of the field o r assimilate new knowledge.
For those already working in the field this book will serve
as a work of reference, and it is therefore suitable as a n
addition to one’s personal library. The good organization
of the contents and the excellent typographic presentation
contribute to this favorable impression. As a reviewer I
have read this book with interest, as the text is clear, comprehensible, and very readable in style. In scarcely 250
pages it is, of course, only possible to present a small section of the field of biotechnology. Those who wish to go
into the subject in greater depth will need’to consult more
detailed works. If this book should later form the basis for
a considerably more extensive work, it is to be hoped that
its good qualities will not be lost in the “scale-up”. I wish
to recommend this book, though its price gives some cause
for concern, the ratio of usefulness to price being very unfavorable compared with other textbooks.
Gunnar Pommerening [NB 739 IE]
Kernforschungsanlage Jiilich
Polymer Synthesis. By P. Rempp and E. W. Merrill. Huthig
& Wepf Verlag, Heidelberg 1986. 315 pp., bound, DM
96.00.--ISBN 3-85739-1 16-2
This textbook has arisen out of the notes for lectures
given by the two authors during the past twelve years in
the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As the title indicates, it is
principally concerned with polymer synthesis. Problems of
characterization (structure and properties), and the physico-chemical aspects of polymer science, are dealt with only
insofar as they are important in synthesis.
The authors have divided the writing between them. P.
Rempp has prepared the first part of the book, which is
concerned with polymer synthesis on a laboratory scale. It
deals with reaction mechanisms, kinetic aspects, and their
consequences as regards molecular weight distribution and
molecular structure. E . W. Merrill has written the second
part of the book, dealing with industrial polymerization
processes, in which heterogeneous systems and continuous
processes assume special importance.
The first part of the book follows the classical pattern of
subdivision of an excellent lecture entitled “Introduction
to Macromolecular Chemistry”. After a general chapter introducing the basic concepts, there follows a relatively
short section on addition polymerization. Next come chapters on free radical polymerization (including copolymerization), anionic and cationic polymerization (including polymerization-depolymerization equilibria), and finally stereospecific polymerization. The book concludes with chapters on chemical reactions involving polymers, and on
functional polymers, including block and graft copolymers
and model networks.
The second part of the book is concerned with reactors
and processes for the homogeneous phase and rnultiphase
free radical polymerization (including suspension polymerization and emulsion polymerization), heterogeneous
ionic polymerization, reaction injection molding, and polymerization in the presence of heterogeneous catalysts. This
part of the book is unusual for a textbook, at least in its
orientation towards industrial processes, though in Germany too this ought to be an essential part of a training in
macromolecular chemistry. Here one finds descriptions
1056
not only of the polymerization of ethylene with heterogeneous catalysts in the fluidized bed process, but also of the
manufacture of a glass fiber reinforced polyester and of
motor tires.
Appendices are provided which, for example, make it
easier to understand the derivation of molecular weight
distribution functions. Problems included at the ends of
the chapters, in the well-established style of American textbooks, allow the reader to test the knowledge which he has
gained. Altogether this is a useful and convenient book,
but one which regrettably includes no references to original literature, nor to material for further reading. Surprising is the small number of polymer pioneers’ names the
authors require.
Hartwig Hocker [NB 834 IE]
Lehrstuhl fur Textilchemie
und Makromolekulare Chemie,
RWTH Aachen (FRG)
Affinity Chromatography: A Practical Approach. Edited by
P. D . G. Dean, W. S . Johnson, and F. A . Middle. IRL
Press, Oxford 1985. xv, 215 pp., paperback, L 11.00.ISBN 0-904 147-71- 1
As a result of the progress in genetic engineering, effective methods for separation of proteins are becoming increasingly important. In addition to the conventional
methods of ion exchange and gel chromatography, HPLC
has in recent years come into use as a preparative technique to an ever greater extent. Affinity chromatography,
on the other hand, plays only a subsidiary role, as it has
hitherto been regarded as a complicated technique which
is only useful in special cases.
These reservations concerning affinity chromatography
are certainly not justified, for it is an outstandingly effective method, and there are many proteins whose isolation
could not have been performed without it. The principle of
affinity chromatography is very simple. Specific enzyme
inhibitors, ligands or antibodies are covalently bonded to a
gel matrix. Under optimal conditions only the desired protein then bonds to the column, with the result that a very
high degree of enrichment can be obtained in a single stage
of purification. Affinity chromatography has become an
indispensable tool for isolating proteins which occur in
very low concentrations and those that are attached to
membranes. It is also of great interest as a means of isolating proteins made by genetic engineering methods, since
here the separation of the desired protein from a mixture
of intermediate products, which have the same amino-acid
sequence but different chain folding, can be achieved very
neatly, and often in a single step, by using a suitable ligand
or antibody which is bonded to the gel matrix.
Against this background the book under review is
greatly to be welcomed. It is a strongly application-orientated handbook which includes a reasonable amount of directly applicable instructional content, while not neglecting the theoretical aspects, and it forms a good contribution to making affinity chromatography more widely
known. The book is divided into eight main chapters, and
consists of contributions from 25 authors. It is to the credit
of the three editors that the book nevertheless reads well,
and there are only a few instances of repetition.
The first chapter is a useful survey of the more important gel matrices now in common use, with their properties
and methods of preparation. In most cases, though, it is
more sensible and economical to buy ready prepared gel
Angew Chem. Ini Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 10
materials; newcomers to the field are particularly advised
against preparing their own.
The strongest features of the book are in Chapters 2, 3,
and 5 , which deal in detail with techniques of activation
and bonding. The methods given are mostly within the capabilities of any biochemical laboratory with the usual facilities. It has, of course, not been possible to describe every special case, but the methods given here can be adapted by analogy to cover many of them. Chapter 4 describes
particular chromatographic procedures, and the associated
methods for determining the degree of substitution of the
stationary phase material. Chapters 6 and 7, which are
concerned with affinity chromatography as a method of
quantitative analysis, seem rather too long. The use of affinity chromatography for separating cell populations is an
economical alternative to installing cell sorting equipment.
This application, discussed in the final chapter, is, however, limited to only a few cell types.
Altogether this is a very interesting book, which gives
valuable guidance o n planning and setting u p affinity
chromatography methods. An additional reason for recommending its purchase is the comparatively low price.
Jan Verdenhaluen [NB 767 IE]
Pflanzenschutzforschungs-Biochemie
Hoechst AG, Frankfurt
Computer-Aided Chemical Thermodynamics of Gases and
Liquids-Theory, Models, Programs. By P. Benedek and
F. Olti. Wiley, Chichester 1985. xxvii, 731 pp., bound,
E 86.95.--ISBN 0-471-87825-1
To begin with, the title of this book is annoying. Too
much of what is published lately is given the honor of being described as “computer-aided”. One might well have
guessed that thermodynamics, the classic discipline of
physical chemistry, would not escape this treatment.
It has also become the practice in chemistry to treat
complex problems by computer modelling calculations, so
that the calculations are used in a sense to carry out “experiments”, to define limits, or to test particular approximations. The unique step forward which computers have
brought is in facilitating the solution of lengthy and complex problems by appropriate fast mathematical techniques. A great deal can now be achieved with personal
computers, which is especially important for the chemist
because he likes to be able to d o the work himself and understand its details.
The chemist therefore welcomes books which provide
him with an introduction to practical work on physicochemical calculations using computers. The present book
claims to d o this for chemists and chemical engineers,
mainly in the field of classical thermodynamics, and certainly it should be able to meet this objective within its
considerable space of more than 700 pages. In classical reversible thermodynamics the requirements for the numerical mathematical toolkit are relatively modest, being limited to the solution of algebraic equations and expansions
in infinite series, both of these operations being easy to
program in any of the common computer languages.
In its subtitle “Theory, Models, Programs”, the book
makes sweeping claims with regard to the depth of treatment. This may well be justified for certain chapters (equations of state, phase equilibria, systems of one substance).
However, the chapter on chemical equilibria, which is particularly important for the chemist, treats this topic in a
rather offhand way, and the only example given in the
Angew. Chern. Inr. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 10
chapter (methane conversion) ought to have been complemented by including other types of reactions.
The theory is treated in a very formal way, without any
descriptions of related phenomena of practical importance. This may be sufficient for the working chemist who
has already covered this material in his previous studies,
but for chemistry students the treatment will certainly
seem too dry and uninteresting. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently detailed and thorough, so that the student need seldom refer to more comprehensive works on thermodynamics.
The programs for calculating thermodynamic quantities
are written in BASIC, and are rather odd in appearance, as
they have been written for a computer which has only 32
characters per line. Unfortunately too the programs are not
structured conventionally, especially with regard to repeat
loops, which makes them less easy to follow. This again is
probably a result of using an obsolescent computer. N o explanatory notes are provided with the programs, which
means that the user needs either to have the required
knowledge of BASIC beforehand, or to acquire it elsewhere. On the other hand, a lot of examples are provided
with the programs, though here the authors have perhaps
given us too much of a good thing. The examples are often
set out at great length without attention to economy of
space, and consequently they take u p a not inconsiderable
proportion of the book. The thermodynamic data needed
in conjunction with the examples are given alongside. In
addition the data for more than 200 substances are collected together in an appendix, which also has its own index.
By “models” the authors apparently mean the equations
whereby the values of the various thermodynamic quantities and functions are calculated. For this purpose they reproduce well-known and proven formulas. The authors are
to be complimented in this on having produced an exhaustive compilation.
The book is definitely of considerably more value to the
chemical engineer than to the chemist. It is well suited for
the training of chemical engineers, and as additional material on which to base a course in engineering thermodynamics. The chemist could more appropriately use it as a
reference book and additional source of information when
he is looking for a quick solution to a practical problem in
thermodynamics, and does not want to have to write his
own program.
Klaus Ebert, Hanns J. Ederer [NB 806 IE]
Institut fur Heisse Chemie,
Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe
Biotechnology. A Comprehensive Treatise in 8 Volumes. Series Editors: H.-J. Rehm and G . Reed. Vol. 4. Microbial
Products 11. Volume Editors: H . Pape and H.-J. Rehm.
VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1986. XIII, 673 pp.,
bound, subscription price: DM 425.00; series price: DM
495.00.- ISBN 3-527-25766-7
This is the 6th volume to be published in the series.“] Its
publication helps complete the sequence from Volume 1 to
Volume 6a. Volumes 3 and 5 covered a number of “microbial products” that are compounds for the food and feed
production industries. The primary focus of Volume 4 is
on secondary metabolites from microorganisms represented by the actinomycetes which are gram positive fil[*] Cf. Angew. Chert. Inr. Ed. Engl. 22 (1983) 893; 22 (1985) 436.
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