Ultimate Solutions for Your Lab Ultrafiltration Needs

Lab Ultrafiltration Devices

With sample capacities from 0.1 mL up to 5 L, the Sartorius Lab Ultrafiltration range offers something for everyone. Find the ultimate device for your concentration or diafiltration applications in the most comprehensive lab ultrafiltration portfolio.

We cater for most target molecule types with our unique choice of membrane materials, molecular weight cut-offs (MWCOs) and operating modes, including centrifugal, solvent absorption, pressure and crossflow devices.

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Understand the Importance of MWCO Selection and Watch Vivaflow® in Action

Tutorial: Choosing the Best MWCO

Understand how the nominal pore sizes of ultrafiltration membranes are defined, why this characteristic is important, and how to approach selection of the optimal MWCO.

How it Works: Vivaflow® 200 Crossflow Cassettes

Watch Vivaflow® 200 cassettes in action to learn about their plug-and-play, scalable design. These lab-dedicated cassettes are more economical than process-scale systems and enable high process speeds with minimal user effort.

Lab Ultrafiltration Products

Vivaspin® Turbo Centrifugal Concentrators

The optimal solution in centrifugal concentration, Vivaspin® Turbo offers another industry first –PES and RC membrane options. Achieve maximum ultrafiltration speeds with high recoveries and enjoy convenient concentrate retrieval from the unique angular dead-stop pocket.

  • Unique choice of PES or RC membranes
  • Turbocharged ultrafiltration speeds
  • Highest chemical and temperature resistance

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Vivacell® Pressure Cells

Vivacell® extends sample volume range for ultrafiltration to as much as 100 mL while retaining the familiarity of centrifugal devices. For sensitive targets and single samples, the optional pressure or pressure-shake operation provides increased flexibility and process control.

  • Centrifugal ultrafiltration for 100 mL samples
  • Pressurized ultrafiltration for sensitive targets
  • Suited to multiple uses with simple cleaning

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Vivaflow® Crossflow Cassettes 

Bringing the benefits of crossflow (TFF) to research and development labs, Vivaflow® cassettes are designed for high process speeds with no optimization effort. Modular, single- and multi-use designs provide maximum flexibility with no need for expensive equipment.

  • Ready to use plug-and-play simplicity
  • Broad membrane and MWCO choice
  • Modular scalability from 100 mL to 5 L

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Vivaspin® Centrifugal Concentrators

Comprised of five device types, the original Vivaspin® range covers initial sample volumes from 100 µL to 20 mL. The broad choice of MWCOs ensures suitability for most target molecules, while selected models simplify concentrate retrieval and process control.

  • High concentrations at high speed
  • Capacities for 0.1 to 20 mL samples
  • Pressure ultrafiltration and reverse spin options

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Vivacon® Centrifugal Concentrators

Offering the optimal solution for linear molecules and very dilute protein samples, Vivacon® devices are ideal for concentration in the 0.1 to 2 mL volume range. PCR-grade versions are free of trace DNA, avoiding interference in critical applications, such as forensic sample preparation.

  • Horizontal Hydrosart® membranes
  • EtO-treated PCR-grade versions
  • Reverse spin sample retrieval

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Sartorius Lab Ultrafiltration Products Offer:

Superior Speed

Reach your research goals faster and overcome process bottlenecks. Enjoy top-level optimization, from membrane orientations and concentration chamber designs, to flow paths and recommended operating conditions.

Highest Recoveries

Achieve high recoveries of proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, exosomes, nanoparticles and other targets. Sartorius offers the unique option to select polyethersulfone (PES), Hydrosart®, regenerated cellulose (RC) or cellulose triacetate (CTA) membranes.

Unrivalled Flexibility

Process almost any sample type with initial volumes from 0.1 mL to 5 L. We offer the broadest choice of devices, MWCOs and operating modes, including pressure and pressure-fugation for more challenging targets or when centrifugation alone isn’t fast enough.

Maximum Concentrations

No more concentrating with multiple devices: Integrated, low-volume dead-stops enable concentration factors of 100x and more in a single device. Best of all, these features also prevent loss of precious samples through concentration to dryness.

Easy Sample Retrieval

Benefit from pipette-friendly dead-stop pockets in our centrifugal and pressure cell ultrafilters, and even pipette-free sample retrieval in selected reverse spin-enabled devices. Collecting every last drop of concentrated samples couldn’t be easier.

Lab Ultrafiltration FAQs

Lab ultrafiltration is a process which uses semi-permeable membranes to separate macromolecules from microsolutes. As transmembrane pressure is applied, microsolutes pass through the membrane while macromolecules (with higher molecular weight) are retained. Typical applications include concentration, diafiltration (buffer exchange | desalination) and fractionation. Ultrafiltration is a gentle, non-denaturing purification method, which is more efficient and flexible than alternative techniques such as chromatography.

When choosing an optimal ultrafiltration device, a good starting point is to consider the size of your target molecule. We recommend choosing a MWCO up to a maximum of 1/3 to 1/2 of the target molecular weight. Also take account of the device capacity, based on initial sample volume. Other factors to consider include whether a particular membrane material or mode of operation is necessary – for example, pressurized ultrafiltration offers increased transmembrane pressure consistency, which can be more suitable for targets prone to aggregation or denaturation.

Cellulose triacetate (CTA) is ideal in applications where the filtrate is of primary interest. Polyethersulfone (PES) is preferred for low fouling and exceptional flux with most solutions and especially high recoveries of negatively charged target molecules. Regenerated cellulose (RC) is suitable for general samples and particularly for oligonucleotides and peptides. Finally, Sartorius’ patented Hydrosart® (HY) — a more chemically robust version of RC — is typically recommended for the highest recoveries of very valuable samples such as immunoglobulin G (IgG).

Lab ultrafiltration devices are primarily used with biological samples but can also be used in environmental monitoring and industrial applications. We provide comprehensive compatibility tables for each product in the instruction manuals. For the greatest chemical compatibility, Vivaspin® Turbo devices are recommended.

With Sartorius Lab Ultrafiltration, there is no need for expensive process-scale systems for ultrafiltration of larger sample volumes in R&D labs. Vivacell® and Vivaflow® enable convenient processing of samples in the 20 mL to 5 L range with minimal equipment requirements.

Most Sartorius Lab Ultrafiltration devices feature dead-stops, which are integrally moulded into the concentrator body. These prevent the risk of concentrating samples to dryness.

The integral dead-stop is the minimum volume to which a sample can be concentrated. For even greater control, it is possible to pre-fill the filtrate tubes of Vivaspin® 500 and Vivaspin® Turbo 4 and 15 devices to prevent over-concentration or avoid the need to re-dilute samples after ultrafiltration.

Optimizing your process to suit each target molecule should be a priority since the same membrane material and orientation, MWCO and device combination may not be ideal for every sample. Start by selecting a MWCO up to 1/3 or 1/2 the size of your target. Test different membrane materials and device types where possible. Also try pre-treatment methods such as pre-rinsing or passivation, and refer to Sartorius’ extensive application guides and expertise to identify the right solution for you.

Yes! While all ultrafiltration devices can be used for this application, Vivacon® devices - featuring horizontal Hydrosart® membranes - typically achieve the highest recoveries from nucleic acid samples. PCR-grade options are also available for worry-free processing in critical applications, such as forensic sample preparation.

It can! Sartorius provides a convenient conversion table to choose a MWCO up to 1/3 the diameter of the target virus. For example, high recoveries of Lentivirus - which has a diameter of ~90 nm - are achieved with 300 kDa MWCO Hydrosart® or 100 kDa MWCO PES membranes.

Typically, the performance of ultrafiltration membranes will begin to degrade through repeated use. However, Sartorius does offer selected devices - Vivacell® 100 and Vivaflow® 50R | 200 – which can be used multiple times. For these products, robust cleaning procedures must be followed, and these are described in the instructions for use.

Lab Ultrafiltration Resources

Poster: Lab Ultrafiltration Selection Guide

Selection Guide for proteins, viruses, DNA, polymers, nanoparticles, exosomes, etc.

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eBook: Lab Ultrafiltration Tips and Tricks

Ultrafiltration tips and tricks to improve your recovery or speed up your workflow.

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App Note: Vivaflow & Vivaspin Workflow in Protein Research Labs

Learn about how use Vivaflow, Vivapure, Vivaspin products for a complete protein purification workflow.

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