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Harvest and Clarification Solutions

Drive efficiency in your biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.

Find solutions from core methods to next-generation technologies

Increasing cell densities and titers in pharmaceutical manufacturing, along with changing regulations and the desire for single-use technologies, are driving developments in the harvest and clarification of cell culture. 3M can help you address these trends in cell culture purification while driving efficiency in your biopharma manufacturing, whether you are using depth filtration or next-generation technologies like fiber chromatographic clarification.


Streamline your harvest and clarification process

  • Challenges in biopharmaceutical harvest and clarification are  drawn on a whiteboard

    Learn how to help minimize additional costs and save capacity by watching this video from 3M and Frost & Sullivan: Right-size your harvest and clarification operations to optimize your process.


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Fiber Chromatographic Clarification

Advancements in cell culture engineering means higher productivity and higher cell densities. This has shifted the burden to clarification and downstream processing. Learn how we can help to efficiently separate cells, cell debris and DNA from the harvest fluid with single-step chromatographic clarification.​

Benefits of fiber chromatographic clarification

  • Clean water coming out from a faucet icon
    Cleaner effluent: introduce chromatographic separation earlier to remove soluble impurities such as DNA
  • Arrows pointing upward icon
    High purity: lower HCPs and DNA post Protein-A
  • small square becomes larger square icon
    Linear scalability: from lab to commercial production

Fiber chromatographic clarification FAQ

Learn more about 3M fiber chromatography

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Depth Filtration

Depth filters use porous filtration media to retain particles throughout the media, rather than just on the media surface. They are commonly used when process fluid contains a high particle load because, relative to other types of filters, they can retain a large mass of particles before becoming clogged.

High-performance filter media combined with proper media selection and sizing can provide excellent throughput performance and filtration efficiency for legacy processes. 3M™ Zeta Plus™ EXT Series Depth Filters’ dual-layer construction can enhance the filter’s contaminant holding capacity, reducing premature plugging and helping extend the service life of the media.

  • How does depth filtration work?
    Depth filtration utilizes the thickness, or depth, of the filter media to trap insoluble suspended particles, separating them from the process fluid that passes through the media. Particles are captured by various mechanisms through the tortuous or complex path of the media, including direct interception, inertia impaction and electrostatic adsorption.
  • Depth filters differ from membrane filters in that they do not have a defined, or absolute, pore size. Membrane filters have holes or pores in the surface of the filter that will trap larger objects while those smaller than the pore will flow through. Therefore, membrane filters’ only mechanism of action is mechanical sieving. Depth filters, on the other hand, must rely on a combination of materials and thickness to create a maze or tortuous pathway to trap the suspended particles.
  • Depth filters are comprised typically of three components: cellulose, a filter aid, and a polymer binder resin. The material can also be functionalized to contain additional functional chemistry for enhanced performance.
  • Depending on the process, a mAb purification train will traditionally utilize a two-stage depth filter operation. The filter(s) used in the first stage have a wider nominal pore size to remove larger cells and insoluble fragments. The fluid is then fed into a filter with a narrower nominal pore size to remove finer debris. Depth filters with a certain level of positive charge may also remove some negatively charged DNA and host cell proteins.
  • Single-layer depth filters contain only a single layer of filtration media. 3M™ Zeta Plus™ EXT Series Filter Capsules and Cartridges have dual-layer configuration with two distinct layers or zones of filter media. This construction increases the holding capacity of the filter, extending its service life and providing enhanced clarification of biological fluids. In some processes, using two or more single-layer depth filters in a chain may be advantageous, as each filter could serve a specific purpose that might not be possible with a dual-layer filter.

Biopharmaceutical industry trends


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Find 3M biopharmaceutical solutions

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  • Find solutions for more efficient bioprocessing across our portfolio.


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  • Getting the most out of your manufacturing process with speed and on budget is an increasing challenge. Our solutions may help you develop manufacturing processes for vaccines to help maximize purity, leading to overall process economics.​

  • If you need solutions for catalyst removal and recovery, color removal, particulate filtration and fill-finish, 3M offers a wide range of adsorptive depth filters and membrane products for application in chemical pharmaceutical manufacturing.

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