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First NIIMBL Project Output Revealed at National Meeting

NIIMBL continues to build momentum toward new, innovative biomanufacturing technologies. That momentum was on display at the National Meeting as Dr. Dhinakar Kompala of Sudhin Biopharma Co., an early SME member, showed off the company’s new single-use compact settler for clarifying cell culture broth. The settler is among the first outputs of a NIIMBL-funded project. 


The project, titled “Scale-up Studies on Single Use Settlers for Clarifying Cell Culture Broth,” aims to develop a disposable plastic device for clarifying cell culture broth from a single-use bioreactor. This process is currently done by centrifugation and/or using depth filters. However, removing cells through these methods becomes challenging at high cell densities and at large scale. Through a disposable, single-use technology, cells can be separated from the secreted protein product to produce a highly clarified product harvest stream.


Dr. Kompala presented the prototype of the disposable settler at 6-inch diameter to project partner Genentech for further in-house testing. Sudhin Biopharma Co. also plans to produce and deliver 12-inch and 24-inch diameter plastic settlers as part of the project. These devices will also be demonstrated as selective cell retention devices to remove dead cells and cell debris through the settler’s top effluent and to return the live and productive cells to a continuous perfusion bioreactor, which can then be operated at high cell densities, viabilities and productivities over months-long culture duration.

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