The ability to obtain an enriched population of small molecules, cells, proteins, nucleic acids, or contaminant-free solutions is important for all applications: from small laboratory research up to the large-scale production of pharmaceutical products. Filtration systems are available in all shapes, sizes, and materials for diverse situations. The need to meet regulatory guidelines for purity and consistency of pharmaceutical productsdemands a well-designed enrichment plan and filtration system.
The enrichment of biological products typically begins with the breakdown of organisms through lysis or mechanical destruction of membranes in order to release the desired target molecule, cell, protein, nucleic acid, etc. This lysate solution is then passed through multiple filtration and centrifugation steps to remove contaminants in a stepwise manner. The end goal is to obtain an enriched target population with the highest purity possible, and to be able to do this with a high degree of consistency from batch to batch.
During drug production there is a need to remove intermediates from chemical reactions, solvents, colored byproducts, and unwanted drug molecules from the final product. Absorptive depth filtration systems are commonly used for this purpose, with multiple stacks of filter media made of activated carbon, cellulose matrices, or charged resins. The removal and/or recovery of solid contaminants and small heavy metals can be achieved with a wide variety of filters made of synthetic materials.
Additionally, there are many filtration systems for other purposes. These systems can be used to filter and sterilize gas. They can be used to prevent contaminants from entering machinery in order to decrease maintenance costs and to the lifetime of the system. Filtration is important for removing environmental pollutants from material being returned to the ecosystem.
Biomagnetic separation coupled with filtration
It is clear that filtration is essential to modern research and industry, but there is an extensive amount of waste involved with these products. Filters can be cleaned and reused, but more often they can only be used once. One way to reduce the cost and waste associated with filtration systems is to introduce biomagnetic separation into the workflow. The advantage of biomagnetic separation using magnetic beads is that the target molecule can be isolated from a highly contaminated solution at an early stage of the process. This could eliminate multiple stages of sequential filtering and save time and money.