The system is specially designed for both scaling studies and low volume Ultrafiltration & Diafiltration (UF/DF) work - two processes that are used extensively to strip out impurities from biologic preparations.
The system, dubbed the Cogent µScale Tangential Flow Filtration system is an easy-to-use, semi-automated bench top machine that, in addition to microscale work, is also suitable for membrane screening and fed-batch processing.
Work at the microscale level is achieved by using up to three Pellicon 3 88 cm2 cassettes (264 cm2). In addition, feed pressures up to 80 psig (5.5 bar) enable higher DeltaP and TMP processing.
"The system can also be configured to process up to three of Millipore's Pellicon XL-50 TFF devices," said Millipore in a statement.
"It is thus ideal for purifying and concentrating monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, vaccines, gene therapy constructs, blood serum products and other cell derived components."
The new system features a multilingual touch screen interface that makes it simple to set-up and executes runs without the need for complicated programming. Included is a user-configurable alarm set points and automated data acquisition that allows greater productivity.
Millipore has been somewhat busy in its TFF product offering, having launched an array of machines that literally cater to every aspect of TFF-related research.
In addition to its Pellicon XL Devices, there is the Integritest 4 - a filter integrity test instrument that allows biopharmaceutical production to conduct on-site bubble point, diffusion and HydroCorrSM tests on disk, cartridge and tangential flow filtration (TFF) filters.
Millipore also have its Ultracel PLC membranes that is used for clarifying, concentrating, and purifying proteins aiming to improve efficiently in purifying large volumes of protein-containing solutions that will accelerate drug screening and improve sample preparation.
Millipore has responded to the demand for safer, more efficient and finer filtration techniques in the production of the drugs themselves. While it is hard to ascribe a figure to this portion of the market, it is thought to represent a significant chunk of the $800m (€650m) plus spent each year by the biopharma industry on filtration, according to a report published by D&MD.
Tangential flow filtration systems are designed specifically for filtering larger volumes of solution. In traditional filtration systems, fluid is directed toward the membrane with applied pressure. When processing larger volumes, retained molecules can build-up on the surface of the membrane and slow, or block, filtration. In TFF, fluid is pumped tangentially along the surface of the membrane.
An applied pressure forces smaller molecules through the membrane, while larger molecules are swept along the surface of the membrane, which prevents the membrane from fouling.