A new ultra-compact sterile connector is said to provide biopharmaceutical manufacturers a much-needed alternative to tube welding for their small-volume closed aseptic processes.
MicroCNX Series Connectors from CPC are the industry’s first aseptic connectors designed to provide a simple, efficient method of connecting tubing in small-format assemblies, said the firm.
“MicroCNX connectors are a critically important option for a range of bioprocessing, cell therapy and gene therapy workflows,” said Troy Ostreng, senior product manager for CPC’s biopharmaceutical business. “Until now, cumbersome tube welding has been the only way to make sterile closed connections of very small-bore tubing. The MicroCNX connector represents a huge innovation for the industry.”
MicroCNX connectors are designed specifically for small-volume processes involving widely used 1/16” (1.6mm), 3/32” (2.4mm) and 1/8” (3.2mm) tubing. These include sampling, seed train expansion and early cell culture processes involving shaker flasks and rocker tables.
“The MicroCNX series was designed to help manufacturers improve efficiencies and reduce time and total cost in creating closed systems that deliver reliable, reproducible results,” said Ostreng.
Testing indicates that making a sterile connection with the new connector is up to four times faster than an operator using a tube welder, reported the developer. Meaning, in the time required to create one weld, up to four MicroCNX connections could be completed, it added. "Multiply those numbers over the course of a year, and the operational efficiencies are clear."
Use of aseptic connectors eliminates the need to purchase, calibrate, validate, and maintain tube welders that can cost more than €12,700 ($15,000) each, it continued.
Manufacturers often need multiple welders, which take up valuable space in a cleanroom, said the developer.
“It’s expensive and time consuming to validate new space,” Ostreng noted. “MicroCNX connectors can help biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy manufacturers make the most of their existing cleanroom space.”