By Scott Patterson
Media and buffer preparation is a key part of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process, and while it doesn’t have to be carried out in sterile conditions, improving the powder transfer process makes this step cleaner, safer, and more efficient, protects personnel and could cut time and costs as well.
Because sterility is not vital at this early stage of manufacturing, powder ingredients for media and buffers have historically been transferred from stock containers using scoops, and weighed and mixed in buckets or open top bags. This process has often been carried out in a separate room from the production line to contain any airborne contaminants. Many companies are starting to move to single use systems as a simpler, cleaner, and safer way to handle ingredients, but this still means that the dry ingredients for buffers and other media need to be transferred into single use bags in pre-weighed amounts from largescale storage drums or bags. There are challenges to face in this process, including the generation of airborne particulates, and the overall aim for powder transfer management is to meet these through the optimized handling of raw materials.