Case Study: Masterflex® Microflex® Pump Head Used for Applikon® miniBio Bioreactor

Applikon mini bioreactor using Cole-Parmer Miniflex pump

This mini 500-mL bioreactor is currently being used for COVID-19 vaccine research

Applikon Biotechnology is a global leader in developing and supplying advanced bioreactor systems for the production of vaccines, antibodies, tissues, bio-pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and biosimilars in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as enzymes, food, feed, bio-fuel, bio-chemicals and bio-plastics for industrial biotechnology.

The Situation

The Applikon Biotechnology team was developing a small laboratory-scale bioreactor that would be flexible and ideal for small-scale operations and be able to generate more data, save time, and take up less bench space all the while producing scalable results.

The Challenge

Since this miniature bioreactor was designed with a small footprint, it required very small components that needed to fit inside of a 7.08” x 15.75” (18 cm x 40 cm) housing—the smallest of the three models that were in development. Applikon needed a very small pump head that was easy to use, accurate, and provided reproducible results. They reached out to the Masterflex® OEM team for support.

The Solution

Applikon approached the Masterflex team because they have had a long relationship with them and were familiar with the reliability of Masterflex pump systems. They were also aware of the Masterflex Microflex® pump head and thought it might be the ideal solution for this project because customers find it easy to use and reliable. The OEM team was honored to partner with Applikon again to help their project succeed. Since the Masterflex Microflex pump head is very small, is user-friendly, delivers accurate low flow over a very large range, and is virtually maintenance-free, the OEM team confirmed it was ideal for this project. They then took the standard Masterflex Microflex pump head and created a custom solution that could be even more reproducible.

The Outcome

The Applikon® miniBio bioreactor can be seen on benchtops around the world being used for small-scale operations such as screening studies, media optimization, process optimization, microbial and cell culture batch, fed-batch, perfusion and continuous cultivation. The miniBio range of bioreactors (250 mL, 500 mL and 1000 mL total volume) is a true scale down of the laboratory-scale bioreactor. They have the same flexibility as the laboratory-scale bioreactors and can be customized on the bench to fit the demands of any process. The small volume reduces media costs and maximizes valuable bench space. See the Applikon miniBio in this video.

Applikon mini bioreactor with Cole-Parmer Miniflex pump

The Applikon’s 500-mL miniBio is currently being used to screen optimal conditions in COVID-19 research at a university.