Poly(methacrylic acid) brush grafted crosslinked-chitosan (chitosan-g-poly(MAA)) beads were prepared in two sequential steps: in the first step, chitosan beads were prepared by phase-inversion technique and then were crosslinked with epichlorohydrin under alkaline condition; in the second step, the graft copolymerization of methacrylic acid onto the chitosan beads was initiated by ammonium persulfate (APS) under nitrogen atmosphere. The chitosan-g-poly(MAA) beads were first used as an ion exchange support for adsorption of lysozyme (LYZ) from aqueous solution. The influence of pH, equilibrium time, ionic strength and initial LYZ concentration on the adsorption capacity of the chitosan-g-poly(MAA) ion-exchange beads has been investigated in a batch system. Maximum LYZ adsorption onto chitosan-g-poly(MAA) beads was found to be 65.7 mg/g at pH 6.0. The experimental equilibrium data obtained LYZ adsorption onto chitosan-g-poly(MAA) ion-exchange beads fitted well to the Langmuir isotherm model. Kinetics parameters of this adsorption system were also analyzed by using the equilibrium experimental data. The result of kinetic analyzed for LYZ adsorption onto ion-exchange beads showed that the second order rate equation was favourable. Finally, the chitosan-g-poly(MAA) ion-exchange beads were used for the purification of LYZ from egg white in batch system and the purity of the eluted LYZ from ion-exchange chitosan-g-poly(MAA) beads was determined as 94% by HPLC from single step purification. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.