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Depth filters containing diatomite achieve more efficient particle retention than filters solely containing cellulose fibers

: Buyel, J.F.; Gruchow, H.M.; Fischer, R.

Fulltext ()

Frontiers in plant science : FPLS 6 (2015), Art. 1134, 11 pp.
ISSN: 1664-462X
European Commission EC
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IME ()

The clarification of biological feed stocks during the production of biopharmaceutical proteins is challenging when large quantities of particles must be removed, e.g., when processing crude plant extracts. Single-use depth filters are often preferred for clarification because they are simple to integrate and have a good safety profile. However, the combination of filter layers must be optimized in terms of nominal retention ratings to account for the unique particle size distribution in each feed stock. We have recently shown that predictive models can facilitate filter screening and the selection of appropriate filter layers. Here we expand our previous study by testing several filters with different retention ratings. The filters typically contain diatomite to facilitate the removal of fine particles. However, diatomite can interfere with the recovery of large biopharmaceutical molecules such as virus-like particles and aggregated proteins. Therefore, we also tested filtration devices composed solely of cellulose fibers and cohesive resin. The capacities of both filter types varied from 10 to 50L m(-2) when challenged with tobacco leaf extracts, but the filtrate turbidity was similar to 500-fold lower (similar to 3.5 NTU) when diatomite filters were used. We also tested pre-coat filtration with dispersed diatomite, which achieved capacities of up to 120 L m-2 with turbidities of similar to 100 NTU using bulk plant extracts, and in contrast to the other depth filters did not require an upstream bag filter. Single pre-coat filtration devices can thus replace combinations of bag and depth filters to simplify the processing of plant extracts, potentially saving on time, labor and consumables. The protein concentrations of TSP, DsRed and antibody 2G12 were not affected by pre-coat filtration, indicating its general applicability during the manufacture of plant-derived biopharmaceutical proteins.