Traditionally, media and buffer preparation has been carried out by transferring ingredients from stock containers using open scoops. It is then weighed and mixed in buckets or open-top bags and dumped directly into production vessels.

It’s a labour intensive and potentially hazardous process, requiring established weight procedures, facility weigh rooms and dust containment. Each additional step adds a layer of risk to the facility and its employees, as well as increasing the likelihood of contamination and creating challenges for cleaning.

For global healthcare company Merck, it was time for a change. Merck sought to make its processes more efficient and to create a safer, easier and faster process for preparing cell culture media, feeds and buffer preparations.

The company’s solution? The EZ BioPac transfer bag. Manufactured by containment solutions specialists ILC Dover, the EZ BioPac bag is specially optimised to ensure the safe transportation of products. It is manufactured with a single layer of Armor-flex 114, a low-density polyethylene film, chosen for its purity, strength and elasticity.

How does the EZ BioPac work?

Dry, pre-weighed ingredients are dispensed into the top of the EZ BioPac, while the bottom of the bag provides a clean connection for your vessel.

Once at your facility, the outer container can be opened. These corrugated boxes can store up to 600kg of product per pallet, which is the most for any type of container configuration, and they’re scalable from 1kg to 100kg.

At Merck facilities, the boxes utilise the company’s Right Size Weighing application to pre-fill and pre-weigh to within +/- 0.5% accuracy. Net weights can be displayed on the unit label and the data confirmed using a batch report, eliminating a client’s need to re-weigh.

A lifting device is then used to remove the bag from the outer container and place it into position. Ergonomically designed with industry compatible connections, the bag also features standard sanitary and stretch-fit connection options. The robust, built-in lifting handles for small volumes and lifting loops for scale-up make it ideal for a range of operations.

Once the WeLoc clamp or zip-tie has been removed, powder can flow directly into the hydration tank.

Safe, efficient delivery of bulk powders

For Merck, upgrading to ILC Dover’s EZ BioPac transfer bag has helped to reduce time wasted on weighing and dispensing processes, cleaning validations, and relieve concerns over powder contamination.

The bag is also designed to improve overall facility efficiency. With wide opening and a self-supporting stand, it is able to fill in approximately two minutes; that’s 71% faster than traditional 2D methods. Discharge is rapid, too, emptying product in less than a minute and a half.

Anti-static properties also mean that the EZ BioPac bag ensures a 99.9% complete discharge, helping to cut wastage and cleaning requirements, while the weight adjustment and outer skirt work to capture and return spilled substances to the bag.