Lysozyme adsorption onto dye-attached nonporous monosize poly(2-hydroxyethyl-methacrylate-methylmethacrylate) [poly(HEMA-MMA)] microspheres was investigated. Poly(HEMA-MNA) microspheres were prepared by dispersion polymerization. The monochloro-triazine dye, Cibacron Blue F3GA, was immobilized covalently as dye-ligand. These dye-affinity microspheres were used in the lysozyme adsorption-desorption studies. The effect of initial concentration of lysozyme and medium pH on the adsorption efficiency of dye-attached and metal-chelated microspheres were studied in a batch reactor. Effect of Cu(II) chelation on lysozyme adsorption was also studied. The nonspecific adsorption of lysozyme on the poly(HEMA-MMA) microspheres was 3.6 mg/g. Cibacron Blue F3GA attachment significantly increased the lysozyme adsorption up to 247.8 mg/g. Lysozyme adsorption capacity of the Cu(II) incorporated microspheres (318.9 mg/g) was greater than that of the Cibacron Blue F3GA-attached microspheres. Significant amount of the adsorbed lysozyme (up to 97%) was desorbed in 1 h in the desorption medium containing 1.0M NaSCN at pH 8.0 and 25 mM EDTA at pH 4.9. In order to examine the effects of separation conditions on possible conformational changes of lysozyme structure, fluorescence spectrophotometry was employed. We conclude that dye-attached and metal-chelate affinity chromatography with poly(HEMA-MMA) microspheres can be applied for lysozyme separation without causing any significant changes and denaturation. Repeated adsorption/desorption processes showed that these novel dye-attached monosize microspheres are suitable for lysozyme adsorption. (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.