What is Membrane Filter in Pharmaceutics?

The microporous membrane is made of polymer chemical materials, and pore-forming additives are applied to the support layer after special treatment. In the application of membrane separation technology, microporous membrane is a kind of membrane with a wide range of applications. We can use it in nanotechnology, food testing, scientific research, chemical industry, as well as energy and environmental protection fields, because of its easy and efficient usage. Hawach supplies Microporous Glass Fiber Membrane Filters, PVDF Membrane Filters, Nylon Membrane Filters.

1)The main features and usage of microporous membrane

Main features of microporous membrane: Good hydrophilicity, suitable for liquid filtration of PH3-10; High porosity: 70-80%, uniform pore size distribution; membrane thickness: 100-160μm; Fast filtration, less adsorption, and no media falling off; The appearance is white, flat, smooth and free of pinholes.

2)How to use microporous membrane

1. Cleaning:
Wash the filter membrane with distilled water before use, then soak in distilled water at 70-80℃ for 4 hours, or soak in distilled water at room temperature for 12 hours;

2. Disinfection:
Put the cleaned filter membrane into the filter and sterilize by steam autoclaving at 120°C for 30 minutes. Other sterilization methods can also be used.

3. The filter membrane must be in a wet state when filtering the liquid, otherwise, the filtration speed will be affected. If the filter membrane is in a dry state due to sterilization, it needs to be wetted with sterile water before use.

3). Transportation and storage
As there are different types of filter membranes and we should pay attention to each type’s features, for instance, cellulose filter membranes are easy to use and should be kept away from fire during transportation and storage;
The microporous membrane must be stored in the dark under the conditions of room temperature and relative humidity of 60%. If the filter membrane loses water and curls due to drying, it can be used after soaking.

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What are the applications of microporous membranes in the pharmaceutical industry

The application of microporous membranes in medicine is mainly sterilization and particle removal. The fields of application of microporous membranes in the pharmaceutical industry are as follows:

1. Process water, water for injection, gas, steam;

2. Parenteral drugs;

3. Ophthalmic solution, large infusion;

4. Fermentation products, including antibiotics, vaccines, and proteins;

5. Blood products, such as serum and plasma. Another important application of microporous membranes is the removal of bacterial contamination.

6. Sterilization: Membrane filters are commonly used to sterilize pharmaceutical solutions, such as drugs, injectables, and parenteral solutions, by removing bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Sterile filtration ensures product safety and efficacy.

7. Clarification: Membrane filters can be used to clarify pharmaceutical solutions by removing particulate matter, colloids, and other impurities. This is especially important in biopharmaceutical processes.

8. Virus Removal: In the production of biopharmaceuticals, virus removal is a critical step. Membrane filters with specific pore sizes are used to remove viruses from biologics and vaccines.

9. Particulate Reduction: In pharmaceutical manufacturing, membrane filters are employed to reduce the level of fine particulates and submicron particles in liquids, ensuring product purity and quality.

10 Bacterial Retention Testing: Membrane filters are used for bacterial retention testing to evaluate the efficiency of the filter in removing bacteria from pharmaceutical solutions.

11. Quality Control: Pharmaceutical companies use membrane filters in quality control processes to ensure that products meet required specifications for purity and sterility.

12. Cell Harvesting: In bioprocessing and cell culture applications, membrane filters are used to harvest cells and separate them from the culture medium.

13. Wastewater Treatment: Some pharmaceutical facilities use membrane filters for the treatment of wastewater generated during manufacturing processes. This helps in reducing environmental impact.

14. Protein Concentration: In biopharmaceutical processes, membrane filters can be used for protein concentration by separating proteins from the surrounding solution.

15. Buffer and Media Preparation: Membrane filters are used in the preparation of buffers and media by removing particulates and sterilizing the solutions.

16. Biological Sample Filtration: In research and development, membrane filters are used to filter biological samples, such as cell cultures or microbiological samples, to remove microorganisms and debris.

17. Water Purification: Some pharmaceutical processes require purified water, and membrane filters are used to remove impurities and microorganisms from water sources.

Generally, the sterilization of medicines adopts the hot pressing method, but the bacterial corpse remains in the medicine liquid. For heat-sensitive drugs, such as insulin, ATP, coenzyme A, cytochrome C, human transfer factor, hormones, serum proteins, gamma globulin, and other blood products and medium for tissue culture, autoclaving cannot be used, and Sterilizing by filtration only.

The obvious advantages of using microporous membrane filtration are:

① It does not change the original properties of the drug, so it is especially suitable for the filtration of heat-sensitive drugs;

② The corpse of bacteria is retained by the microporous membrane;

③ Microporous membranes are easy to mechanize and automate drug production lines.