The new prefilters combine polyethersulfone (PES) membranes with a new ‘nanofleece’ made of 120-150nm diameter nanofibers, instead of the larger 500nm plus diameter fibers are commonly used in filtration setups.
Sartorius claims the resulting filters offer enhanced clarification capabilities, even for extremely fine contaminants, along with a high-dirt holding capacity, fast flow rates and high total throughput performance compared with more conventional systems.
The firm also says that the new technology – which is part of its Sartoguard NF range – can improve efficiency downstream and help preserve the effective lifespan of more expensive separation systems.
“The prefilters are the ideal choice for downstream protection of more expensive sterilizing-grade and Mycoplasma-retentive filters in challenging prefiltration applications for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
The firm added that: “Sartoguard NF prefilters offer significant cost-saving potential due to their ultrafine retention performance, which ensures removal even of extremely small particulate-based contaminants.
“All active filter materials – membranes and nanofleece – of the new prefilter series are made of polyethersulfone, thus ensuring a minimum extractable footprint.
The ‘nanofleece’ tech are one of several biopharmaceutical-industry focused filtration technologies that Sartorius has launched this year. In June at Achema – for example – it unveiled a new line of sterilising-grade filtration cartridges designed to improve production yields.
Sartorius’ focus on filtration is also understandable given the important role the single-use bioprocessing sector has played in driving the growth of it business over the last year.
According to financial results released by Sartorius - Sartorius Stedim Biotech's parent group - for the nine months to September 30, 2012, the bioprocess solutions business saw revenues increase 16.8 per cent to €413.1m, EBITDA climb 21.7 per cent to €88.9m and margins improve 0.9 per cent to 21.5 per cent
At the time the firm said that: “Single-use products, especially filters and bags contributed substantially to these results,” which echoes precisely what it said in its previous results announcement.