Protection of bioreactors from viruses and mycoplasma remains a challenge. While the risk of these contaminations is known, and several recent high profile cases have raised awareness of this risk, many bioreactors remain unprotected. Currently available technologies, such as high-temperature short-time treatment and ultraviolet light treatment, can be difficult to implement due to footprint, efficacy, and media compatibility issues. Size exclusion nanofiltration may be a more ideal technology for virus and mycoplasma protection, potentially offering advantages in robustness, scalability, small footprint, and media compatibility.
However, current virus removal filters, designed for monoclonal antibody purification, are generally poorly suited for cell culture media processes due to the large membrane surface areas needed to achieve adequate flow and capacity in a reasonable timeframe. Here we evaluate a novel virus barrier filter specifically developed for cell culture media applications.