The introduction of the FlexMixer ties in with an increasing trend among biopharma companies to shift towards the use of plastic disposable components for bioprocessing and away from stainless steel items. The result can be cost-savings on equipment purchases and validation/maintenance time that are estimated at around 40 per cent across a plant, according to data presented last year.
The FlexMixer is claimed to be the first single-use mixing bag that can be used to mix materials of any viscosity or density difference. It can be scaled to over 10,000 litres and does not have any internal impeller or actuator: an integral perforated diaphragm in the mixing bag is moved up and down by a simple low-cost mechanism to provide reliable, efficient and complete mixing, according to the companies.
Compared to traditional mixing systems, FlexMixer integrates materials more completely and efficiently and eliminates the need for cleaning and/or sterilisation between batches, saving companies valuable time and money, according to Wave Biotech.
Vijay Singh, the president of Wave Biotech, believes that this new mixing technology will establish disposable mixers as the preferred alternative to traditional mixing tanks, following on from the lead the company's Wave Bioreactor has had in cell culture operations.
This product uses a rocking mechanism with specially designed bags to induce wave motion in the culture media. The wave motion provides mixing and oxygenation to support cell growth at a much higher density than that obtainable with rollers or spinners.