Mixing it Up: A Look into Single-Use for the Downstream

Tue, 09/24/2013 - 10:00am
Eric Isberg, ATMI


It is no secret that the transition to single-use technology for biopharmaceutical applications is often disruptive. Yet, as the industry continues to see the proven benefits of integrating these technologies, and in some cases fully transitioning to them, the paradigm shift that happened in the upstream is making its way into the downstream.

In the specific case of low volume mixing in the downstream, the go-to solution has always been to use traditional stainless steel mixers. Now that is changing, and although the technology transfer from traditional mixers can be complicated, the transition offers a new opportunity and assurance of integrity that is unmatched by stainless steel mixers. The following discussion investigates how single-use technologies are advancing into the downstream and also investigates the different innovations the market has to offer.

A Paradigm Shift

Merely a decade ago, single-use technology was considered unachievable; but, over time, it flourished in the biopharmaceutical production world. Initially used to replace traditional stainless steel equipment for media storage and make-up, single-use bioreactors have become the go-to solution for cell culture. Yet, downstream purification has long been the one part of the biomanufacturing chain that has not seen the benefits of single-use—until now.


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