SCHOTT ViewCell™ flow cell adds flexibility to biopharmaceutical process control

  • ViewCell™ optimizes downstream processes in the biopharmaceutical industry.
  • The flow cell enables safe, continuous process control directly in the production line.
  • The innovative process analysis technology (PAT) component acts as a sterile interface between product and optical measurement systems.

MAINZ, GERMANY — Following the market launch of the ViewPort® sensor port for bioreactors, SCHOTT introduces the ViewCell™ flow cell, a new component for biopharmaceutical process analysis. Via a sterile-safe optical window, the flow cell enables in-situ measurements of biological and physical parameters in downstream processing. It can be used during purification and filtration as well as during subsequent formulation. As a result, physical sampling and the need for storage tanks are reduced. Thanks to the special glass-to-metal connection, the seamless and sterile-safe design of ViewCell™ also increases the safety and efficiency of process analysis and thus contributes to an optimized yield.

Traditionally, biopharmaceutical process analyses are laborious, cost-intensive, and carry the risk of contamination when samples are taken. With the expansion of its innovative PAT portfolio, SCHOTT is now providing a remedy. “ViewCell™ allowed us to quickly build and test small scale flow systems for Raman analysis, which we use to mimic real-world industrial processes. The compact nature of ViewCell™ reduces the overall volume of sample material required which helps us to minimize waste and save costs – a key consideration when dealing with expensive, or difficult to obtain test materials,” notes Prof. Alan Ryder, Principal Investigator at the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory at the University of Galway.

With the ViewPort® sensor interfaces, SCHOTT already enables in-situ process control when cultivating microorganisms or cells in the upstream process. Pharmaceutical companies can connect optical measuring systems to the SCHOTT® PAT components from the outside and record important process parameters directly and continuously through a highly transmissive optical window. Even the smallest deviations can thus be detected and adjusted immediately.

Now, with the ViewCell™ flow cell, these advantages can be utilized at other, additional points in biopharmaceutical production as well. “From filtration to formulation, the flow cell can be integrated into the product stream of various multi-use or single-use plants in the downstream process,” explains Christian Ott, Head of R&D Biotech at SCHOTT. „There, ViewCell™ enables continuous in-situ measurement of multiple process parameters of the medium flowing through it, which supports pharmaceutical companies in their process intensification.”

Optical sensors or spectrometers are connected to the flow cell for monitoring. Since the measuring instruments do not come into contact with the medium, i.e., they do not penetrate the sterile barrier, they can easily be replaced during ongoing production. That is a major advancement compared to fixed probes.

The new, sterilizable flow cell from SCHOTT is made of materials that comply with best practices in the pharmaceutical industry: viewing windows made of sapphire, glass, and stainless steel. Alternatively, SCHOTT offers pre-sterilized variants of ViewCell™ for single-use applications. All variants are durable, processed without adhesives or other auxiliary materials due to the special glass-to-metal connection, and can be used in a safe and sterile manner. In addition, to support GMP requirements, SCHOTT® PAT components are provided with an individual data matrix code.

More about our SCHOTT® PAT components.

ViewPort® and ViewCell™ are registered trademarks of SCHOTT AG.

Pioneering. Responsibly. Together.

These attributes characterize SCHOTT as a manufacturer of high-tech materials based on specialty glass. Founder Otto Schott is considered its inventor and became the pioneer of an entire industry. Always opening up new markets and applications with a pioneering spirit and passion – this is what has driven the #glasslovers at SCHOTT for almost 140 years. Represented in over 30 countries, the company is a highly skilled partner for high-tech industries: Healthcare, Home Appliances & Living, Consumer Electronics, Semiconductors & Datacom, Optics, Industry & Energy, Automotive, Astronomy & Aerospace. In the fiscal year 2022, its 17,200 employees generated sales of 2.8 billion euros. SCHOTT AG is owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the oldest foundations in Germany. It uses the Group’s dividends to promote science. As a foundation company, SCHOTT has anchored responsibility for employees, society and the environment deeply in its DNA. The goal is to become a climate-neutral company by 2030.

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