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3M's Encapsulated Filtration System Offers a Robust, Convenient Solution for Biomanufacturing Customers

Monday, March 05, 2012 by 3M Purification

The Zeta Plus Encapsulated System (EZP) from 3M features a unique, easy-to-use pivot action. Addressing the demand for reliable, high-quality disposable depth filtration, EZP raises the bar in terms of ergonomics, capsule design and dual zone filter media, which is optimal for cell culture clarification (post fermentation) and the removal of host cell derived impurities.

"EZP is the latest addition to our industry-leading Zeta Plus product line that has been used by customers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries for more than 35 years," commented Lynne Deakin, field applications specialist at 3M's CUNO Filtration business. "It has been developed in response to requirements for a disposable depth filtration solution that allows loading and unloading at waist height so operators don't have to lift capsules above their heads and risk exposure to fluid spills when handling used capsules."

Traditional depth filtration systems need to be stacked vertically to allow effective utilisation of filter media, and dismantling used cartridges can be labour intensive and time consuming. Fluid spills are also possible during unloading. With the EZP system, the filter holder system can be pivoted between horizontal and vertical positions. This not only reduces assembly and disassembly times and operator error, but also reduces fluid contact and cleaning costs while increasing mobility and minimising footprint for the filtration process.

Innovative holder system and capsule design

The EZP system incorporates two product lines: a small holder (Model No. 16EZA) for use at pilot or small-scale protein production and a large holder (Model No. 16EZB) with pivot action that can accommodate up to 11.2m² of filter media, making it ideal for large production scale protein purification. Both models consist of a filter holder, a set of manifold plates and filter capsules available in either 0.23m² and 1.6m² configurations.

The holders can accommodate two (Model No. 16EZA) or more (Model No. 16EZB) grades of Zeta Plus EXT media, facilitating single-stage or multi-stage depth filtration. As no holder components will be in direct contact with process fluids this eliminates the need for any significant cleaning and associated cleaning validation post use.

The small holder can accommodate one to four 0.23m² capsules or one 1.6m² capsule and has an integrated torque limiter that signals when the assembly is correctly sealed. The 1.6m² capsule has a CAM locking mechanism for quick, easy and robust capsule-to-capsule connection and its solid core eliminates the need for internal steel bands or a centre post. This capsule also has two handles for convenient easy loading and unloading, a low upstream volume and a low residual hold-up volume of <100ml per capsule.

Superior filtration performance

The EZP system utilises the renowned Zeta Plus EXT media which extends depth filtration capacity and improves protection of downstream membranes, thereby lowering overall filtration costs. The EXT filter series consist of two layers or 'zones' of media with the upstream layer more open than the downstream layer. This enhances the contaminant holding capacity, since larger particles are trapped in the upper zone of the filter media and smaller particles are trapped in the lower zone, reducing premature plugging and helping to extend service life.

Zeta Plus EXT Series filter media has demonstrated its effectiveness in removing impurities such as host cell proteins (HCP), viruses, DNA, protein aggregates and also endotoxin. Therefore it can reduce the challenge presented to downstream anion exchange chromatographic steps.

For more information about the Zeta Plus Encapsulated System please contact 3M Purification.