A number of alcohols and some amines have been bound to carboxymethylpoly(ethylene glycol), obtained by oxidation of poly(ethylene glycol) with permanganate. These polymer derivatives influence to various degrees the partition of serum albumin and chloroplast thylakoid membranes between the phases of a liquid-liquid two-phase system composed of water, dextran and poly(ethylene glycol). Higher fatty alcohols and certain steroids are especially active in increasing the affinity of the biological material for the poly(ethylene glycol)-rich upper phase. In a few cases the polymer-bound group caused exclusion of the membrane fragments from the upper phase and the interface. The possible use of the polymer derivatives for selective adjustment of partition of biological material within aqueous two-phase systems is discussed. © 1986.
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