When it comes to choosing a pump in life sciences there are many considerations above and beyond flow and pressure. When dealing with delicate cell lines, the type of pump specified within a system, can directly affect the results for the process.
For many years the standard pump used in systems has been the peristaltic, particularly in single-use processes. Whether this has become the norm due to best practice, or just from a lack of choice is yet to be seen.
The Quattroflow quaternary diaphragm pump is a real alternative to the peristaltic pump.
It’s unique design, which mimics the human heart is revolutionary. The low friction, low sheer and low pulsation properties, make it perfectly suited for the safe transfer of delicate product. Quattroflow’s pump chambers contain no rotating parts that can be subject to friction, meaning that there is no operational heat buildup that can compromise the product. This mode of operation also means that the pumps can run dry, are self-priming, and produce little or no shear because of low slip. Combined with the advantage of higher pressure pumping if required, the Quattroflow pump should be a real contender when deciding which pump to choose.
When using peristaltic pumps there are many precautions that can be taken to minimise the generation of particulates, through the use of long life pump tubings such as the Pharmed range offered by Saint-Gobain, but also ensuring pump life specifications are not exceeded. However, a recent white paper published by PSG Dover, highlighted how the quaternary diaphragm pump provides a significant reduction in particulate generation compared to that of peristaltic pumps. This reduction is valuable as particulate generation, ultimately means potential threats to the quality of the process and the final product.
Scalability is an important factor when developing new biologics, from development through to full scale commercialisation, scale up in essential in maintaining product integrity. This is an area that is limited in peristaltic pumps. When incorporating the reusable Quattroflow pump elements, the flow range of the pump can be adapted from lab development rates of 1L per hour, through to production flow rates of 20,000 Litres per hour.
The adoption of single-use technology in biopharmaceutical and life science processes, is rapidly increasing. The key benefit being the speed-to-market and cleaning cost reductions. The single-use pump delivers a exceptional level of product purity and sterility, avoiding any cross-product contamination, whilst maintaining a quicker production time than that of the stainless steel approach. Alternatively should the overall cost of the stainless-steel head be more attractive, it provides the same controlled flow, low-shear, low-slip and high-purity operation as the single-use option, with the addition of desirable high-cleanability attribute. Quattroflow pumps can be utilised with either stainless steel or single-use heads, depending on the process requirements, offering complete flexibility and minimal restrictions in choosing the pump.
Whilst the peristaltic pump is the conventional choice of most biopharmaceutical and life science applications, the many additional benefits that can be provided through use of quaternary diaphragm pumps, points to argue that this could be the way forward in both single-use and traditional processes.
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