The Vivascience technology products Part I

          Sartorius Vivascience GmbH develops and manufactures innovative solutions for protein purification and analysis. The Vivascience technology products give access to the Sartorius Group’s technology platform and core expertise, allowing integrated process solutions from laboratory scale through to process scale applications.

          Ultrafiltration is a convective process that uses anisotropic semi-permeable membranes to separate macromolecular species and solvents primarily on the basis of size. It is particularly appropriate for the concentration of macromolecules and can also be used to purify molecular species or for solvent exchange. Ultra -filtration is a gentle, non denaturing method that is more efficient and flexible than alternative processes.

Typical applications for ultrafiltration

  • Concentration| desalting of proteins, enzymes, DNA, monoclonal antibodies, immunoglobulins
  • Free drug, hormone assays
  • Removal of primers from PCR amplified DNA
  • Removal of labelled amino acids and nucleotides
  • HPLC sample preparation Deproteinization of samples
  • Recovery of biomolecules from cell culture supernatants, lysates
  • General purpose laboratory concen - tration and desalting of proteins, enzymes, cells, DNA, biomolecules, antibodies and immunoglobulins
  • Mammalian cell harvesting
  • Cell washing, virus purification, cell debris removal, depyrogenation

Sartorius Stedim Biotech offers a comprehensive range of process alternatives for the filtration and concentration of biological samples. Below is a guide to selecting the most suitable filtration method, depending on sample volume, equipment available, filtration speed and process control desired.

Centrifugal concentrators (100 ul to 100 ml starting volumes)
Centrifugation provides the vector to clear solvent and micro molecules through the ultrafiltration membrane and into a filtrate container positioned below. This is a gentle process that is characterised by quick set up and fast filtration speeds with most solutions. Sartorius Stedim Biotech offers ten alternative centrifugal devices covering volumes from 100 ul up to 100 ml.
A broad range of ultrafiltration devices for protein concentration and buffer exchange in lab scale is available with Vivaspin (0,5 – 20 ml), Centrisart (2,5 ml), Vivapore (2 – 20 ml), Vivacell (70 -250 ml) and Vivaflow (0,1 l – 5 l). All product groups have unique features to be optimally equipped for the main applications in their volume range

Membrane performance characteristics
Polyethersulfone (PES)

This is a general purpose membrane that provides excellent performance with most solutions when retentate recovery is of primary importance. Polyethersulfone membranes are usually preferred for their low fouling characteristics, exceptional flux and broad pH range.

Cellulose triacetate (CTA)
High hydrophilicity and very low non specific binding characterise this membrane. Cast without any membrane support that could trap or bind passing micro solutes, these membranes are preferred for sample cleaning and protein removal and when high recovery of the filtrate solution is of primary importance.

Hydrosart demonstrates the same properties as regenerated cellulose, but with the added benefit of enhanced performance characteristics and extremely low protein binding, making it the membrane of choice for applications such as concentration and desalting of immunoglobulin fractions.

The Vivascience technology products Part II

Vivaspin Centrifugal Ultrafiltration

Sartorius offers twelve alternative centrifugal devices covering volumes from 100 µl up to 100 ml for fast and safe samples. Vivaspin Concentrators are disposable ultrafiltration devices for the concentration of biological samples. Vivaspin centrifugal concentrators offer the optimal solution to any concentration or buffer exchange application with their broad range of volume capacities and MWCOs. Highest flow rates and recoveries are achieved due to their particular vertical membrane design. Incomparably safe sample handling and convenience is assured by the patented dead-stop technology allowing direct recovery of the concentrate without further respin.

Vivaspin applications

•    Concentration of biological samples containing antigens, antibodies, enzymes or nucleic acids
•    Concentration of diluted protein samples from chromatography eluates – Desalting or Diafiltration
•    Buffer exchange
•    Sample concentration for crystallization and NMR spectroscopy
•    Removal of very small or large contaminants

The figures show the Vivaspin Ultrafiltration family


For highest recovery, select a membrane MWCO which is at least half to one third of the molecular weight of the solute to be retained.


The Vivascience technology products Part III

Vivaflow 50&200: Cross-flow filtration device

     Cross-flow filtration is a type of filtration because the majority of the feed flow travels tangentially across the surface of the filter, rather than into the filter. The principal advantage of this is that the filter cake (which can blind the filter) is substantially washed away during the filtration process, increasing the length of time that a filter unit can be operational. It can be a continuous process, unlike batch-wise dead-end filtration.

     Both the Vivaflow 200 and 50 work on the same principle. The solution to be concentrated or diafiltered is pumped across the face of a membrane filter of the desired molecular weight cut-off (MWCO)

•    Concentration of protein
•    Concentration of viruses, bacteria, etc
•    Concentration of trace metals from seawater
•    Cell washing
•    Cell recycles
•    Diafiltration

Unique feature
•    Thin channel flip-flow recirculation path provides high cross flow velocities with minimum pump requirements.
•    Crystal clear for simple control of remaining hold up and membrane status.
•    Unique Interlocking modules with series connectors for easy scale up.
•    Available with MWCOs from 5,000 to 100,000 Da with membranes made of polyethersulfone (PES) or 2 varieties   of regenerated cellulose (RC)
•    The Vivaflow unit can then be flushed, cleaned, and stored for several more uses.
•    For volumes from 500 ml to over 5 liters

Vivaflow 50 (50 cm2 active membrane area)

Vivaflow 200 (200 cm2 active membrane area)

The Vivascience technology products Part IV

Cross-flow Stainless Steel Holder

     The Sartocon system The Sartocon system covers the whole range of pharmaceutical and biotechnological cross-flow applications like concentration and diafiltration of proteins, vaccines, viruses, antibodies, oligo nucleotides, endotoxin removal etc. The system is suitable for cell harvesting and clarification processes. The family of Sartorius Stedim Biotech Cross-flow holders feature the latest advances in cross-flow design:
•    vertical orientation of cassettes
•    self draining systems
•    no welds
•    minimized hold up volume


Sartocon® Slice 200

Number of cassettes 1–2  Sartocon slice200 cassette
Surface area 0.02–0.04 m2 (200 cm2 each)
Applications Vol. 100 ml to 5 l.
Hold-up volume <4 ml
Dimensions (L+W+H)160+120+275 mm
Weight 5.8 kg


Sartocon® Slice

Number of cassettes 1–5 Sartocon slice cassette
Surface area 0.1–0.5 m2 (0.1 m2 each)
Applications Vol. 1 l to 100 l.


Sartocon® 2 plus

Number of cassettes 1–10  Sartocon cassette
Surface area 0.7- 7 m2 ( 0.7m2 each)
Applications Vol. 30 l to 1000 l.
Dimensions (L+W+H) 371+270+348 mm
Weight approx. 50 kg


Sartoflow® 10

Number of cassettes 1–10  Sartocon cassette
Surface area 0.7- 7 m2 ( 0.7m2 each)
Applications Vol. 30 l to 1000 l.
Dimensions (L+W+H) 680+420+508 mm
Weight approx. 70 kg
Hydraulic closure


Sartoflow® 20

Number of cassettes 1–20  Sartocon cassette
Surface area up to 14 m2 ( 0.7m2 each)
Applications Vol. 200 l to 2500 l.
Dimensions (L+W+H) 1230+240+348 mm
Weight approx. 80 kg
Hydraulic closure

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