Chroma Flow

Single-use Chromatography System

Chroma Flow is a single use chromatography
system for small to medium-sized batches in
biopharmaceutical manufacturing. It provides a
new workflow enabling the sustainable production
of pharmaceuticals according to the model of
precision medicine, where treatments are tailored
to specific groups, improving their effectiveness.

Conceptual Product Solutions
Client: Cytiva
Project Duration: 10 weeks
Team Members: Stijn Van Cuijk
Umeå Institute of Design, 2022

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BACKGROUND

This project is a collaboration with Cytiva, a leading supplier of technology within the life sciences space who are trusted for their excellence in providing technologies and services that advance and accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of therapeutics.

In a maturing technology space, Cytiva is looking for other differentiators in addition to pure technology specifications, in order to help their customers be ready for the future and improve throughput. Having ‘human at the core’ and ‘dynamically modern’ as their core design principles, they asked us to come up with a conceptual product solution that is future ready and led by best-in-class end to end user experience design.

In addition to the user experience focus, the importance for future products to be more sustainable was emphasized. We were asked to explore new sustainable solutions for the next generation of single use products.

Preparing chromatography
for a future with precision
medicine.

Chromatography
Chromatography is a separation technique used in
biopharmaceutical manufacturing to purify large
biological molecules such as proteins, antibodies,
and enzymes, which are used in vaccines and otherpharmaceuticals.


Precision medicine
Precision medicine is a medical model that
separates people into different groups—with
medical decisions, practices, interventions and/or
products being tailored to the individual patient
based on their predicted response or risk of
disease.

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CHALLENGES

Batch Size and Capacity
Facilitate the production of smaller batches, while retaining the same volume capacity that makes medication affordable for people.

Machine Footprint
Cleanroom space is costly and energy intensive. Making the most of cleanroom space is necessary to make the solution financially and environmentally viable.

 

Sustainability of Single Use
Single use components provide many benefits in bioprocessing, but how can we make sure they are properly reused or recycled after use?

Flow Kit Installation
With current machines, the flow kit consists of a web of connected tubes that is ergonomically challenging to handle, and requires time consuming manual operations to install onto the machine.

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MACHINE HARDWARE DESIGN

Chroma Flow represents a new, agile approach to the chromatography workflow. A focus on intuitive human-machine interactions resulted in an architecture that is designed to be open and welcoming, with the main interactive surface angled towards the user in an inviting gesture.

Besides a more approachable aesthetic, this architecture allows the user to see all installed components at a glance, logically structured according to the liquid’s flow path.The slim design answers the need for more effective use of clean room space. With the main areas of interaction all located at the front, it allows for tighter arrangements of multiple machines next to each other.

The tall stature is counterbalanced by a widened base, giving the machine a stable and trustworthy stance. Through meticulous attention to detail and finish, we aimed to craft a product expression fit for purpose in highly demanding cleanroom manufacturing environments. While challenging the established aesthetics of bioprocessing equipment, the carefully curated materials and finishes evoke a sense of precision, clarity, and durability.

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SUSTAINABILITY OF SINGLE-USE

Due to the nature of single-use column chromatography, there are many disposable parts. These consist of a flow kit with separate inlet and outlet manifolds, and a column. Counter intuitively, the environmental impact of these single-use components is considerably less than that of their reusable counterparts.

This is caused by the large amount of energy required for cleaning reusable systems to bioprocessing standards. Still, we found it important to make sure the single-use components can be properly recycled after use, keeping easy disassembly and optimal material use in mind. The main material used for all components is pure uncoloured polypropylene, which will result in high grade material waste streams.

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FLOW-KIT INSTALLATION

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1. Based on the column size, the machine will automatically set the column podium to the correct height. The column can then be positioned using the integrated ergonomic handle.
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2. The flow block is positioned in the cavity, after which both manifold can be clicked into place. After confirming the installation on the touch display, the machine will apply pressure to fix the components in place.
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3. The single use bags and other peripherals can then be installed. When all components are connected, the machine is ready to go.
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4. Like with each step of the process, the operator confirms a completed setup on the touch display. Now the chromatography process can start.
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PROCESS

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