Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saving Cells - Safer Method for Filtering Sensitive Biological Products

26.07.2004


For many years, engineers have worked to efficiently filter valuable bio-process products on an industrial economic scale. The challenge has been to push rates up without incurring high shear rates and resultant cell lysis, which would cause loss of yield. High shear can destroy delicate and valuable biological materials such as proteins, blood, algae and yeasts, and also brings with it a requirement for higher flow rates, which in turn raises pumping costs.



Inventors at the University of Oxford have developed two very elegant solutions to this dilemma, each of which would allow bio-process engineers to “have their cake and eat it” – i.e. achieve high flux AND low shear. Both technologies are improvements upon the existing practice of using ceramic block or tubular membrane filters, allowing users to obtain breakthrough performance without incurring massive disruption.

The first method is an insert that could be applied to existing tubular membrane filters (TMF) as an add-on. It can be used to achieve excellent mixing at low rates of flow and with a laminar flow pattern. This combination helps to minimise cell damage in the filtration of sensitive materials as high filtration fluxes are obtained at much lower feed flow rates than are currently achieved using existing equipment. The method has been successfully used for ultrafiltration of protein solutions with high flux and negligable fouling; separation of plasma from whole blood by microfiltration and separation of high concentration yeast suspensions. All of these important processes can be achieved more effectively at a much lower cost if the insert method is adopted.


The second method or "Helical Groove" ceramic block membrane filter would be a suitable replacement for an existing ceramic block filter element. Normally the performance of these filters is limited by the efficiency of fluid mixing. The helically grooved internal structure of the new membrane allows optimisation of radial mixing as the surface area of the filter is increased. The inherent properties of the filters are also important and include excellent chemical and thermal stability and rigidity. From a practical point of view they are easy to sterilise and can be easily adapted for use in large-scale units.

The inventions are now the subject of granted patents and a ten-tube microfiltration module is available for demonstration purposes. Companies interested in developing these systems for commercial applications should contact Isis Innovation Ltd.

Kim Bruty | alfa
Further information:
http://www.isis-innovation.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>