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Plastic vs Stainless Steel – The Great Centrifuge Debate

According to Bioplan Associates, single-use bioprocessing technologies now dominate the pre-commercial manufacturing space. In many ways, this is unsurprising – the growth and harvesting of cell cultures external to the body has been, and remains, a transformative development in biological science. Though the applications for such a development are almost endless, the appearance of the pandemic has rendered the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines a key priority.

A wide variety of techniques are currently used for culture separation, including depth filtration and microfiltration. However, centrifugation – the acceleration of natural sedimentation through spinning cell cultures in a centrifuge, which causes its solids and surrounding fluids of differing density to separate – has established itself as the industry norm. As part of this process, the separated fluids are discharged, leaving an isolated cell culture from which operators can harvest vital proteins needed in vaccine production.

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Ian Forrester has over 14 years of experience working at Alfa Laval talking to professionals about their processing equipment and how to optimise site operations. He has worked across a range of sectors and applications, and is currently a Business Unit Manager for Alfa Laval, specialising in centrifuge technologies for the pharma and food and beverage sectors. Ian’s current primary focus is on understanding the demands placed on biopharmaceutical manufacturers, such as the need to increase production, reduce costs, and ensure business continuity. He specialises in enhancing and optimising processes through the provision of tailored solutions that help alleviate operational challenges, especially in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
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