Dispatches from BPI 2015

Sartorius' new cell harvesting tech uses brewing sector filtration knowhow

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Sartorius' new cell harvesting tech uses brewing sector filtration knowhow

Related tags: Sartorius stedim biotech

Sartorius has launched a cell harvesting technology, the first to incorporate diatomaceous earth filtration more commonly associated with the brewing industry.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) has incorporated biopharma grade diatomaceous earth (DE) in its Sartoclear Dynamics clarification system which it is offering to the bioprocessing industry as a single-use technology for harvesting mammalian cell cultures with high cell densities.

DE is a prehistoric algae used commonly as a filtration aid in the food and drink industry but at yesterday’s Bioprocess International Summit in Dusseldorf, Germany, Sartorius explained how its use can reduce the number of steps needed in harvesting high cell density cultures in volumes up to 2,000L.

At the moment, customers are doing two or three steps involving centrifugation [to remove cells and solids more than 1µm] and depth filtration [to remove smaller particles, colloids and contaminants]​,” Robert Landertinger Forero, Technical Marketing Manager at Sartorius, told Biopharma-Reporter.com. “This does it in one-step.​”

He added Sartorius is the only bioprocessing services firm to use DE, and the system was developed as a response to the increasingly biomass concentrations grown – with titres up to 10g/L - due to ongoing improvements in growth media and cell lines.

The system consists of single-use bags prefilled with Sartorius’s DE – known as Celpure C300 - which mixes with the fermentation broth, and remoives cells.

Slow uptake?

But one challenge which Sartorius is face with is uptake by customers. Aurelia Topol, Process Development Key Account Manager at Sartorius, told us centrifuge followed by depth filtration is the industry standard.

This is the traditional way for biopharmaceutical makers​,” she said. “We need to change the mindset​.”

While Topol said the overall product is not substantially cheaper than traditional equipment, she said the reduction of steps was less effort and time and money is also saved due to the disposable nature of the system.

She added the firm was hoping to spread the word by and drive sales by encouraging drugmakers to try the system on a small-scale before implementing the process to harvest cells in up to 2,000L.

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