Document Type


Publication Date



Aqueous Two-phase System, Interfacial Tension, Liquid–liquid Phase Separation, Phase-forming Polymer, Solvent Features of Water

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Analysis of liquid–liquid phase separation in biological systems shows that this process is similar to the phase separation observed in aqueous two-phase systems formed by nonionic polymers, proteins, and polysaccharides. The emergence of interfacial tension is a necessary condition of phase separation. The situation in this regard is similar to that of phase separation in mixtures of partially miscible solvents. It is suggested that the evaluation of the effects of biological macromolecules on the solvent properties of aqueous media and the measurement of the interfacial tension as a function of these solvent properties may be more productive for gaining insights into the mechanism of liquid–liquid phase separation than the study of structural details of proteins and RNAs engaged in the process.

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Biomolecules, v. 9, issue 9, art. 473