January 28, 2021
Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.


The first-ever 'direct visualization' of virus removal process in hollow fiber membrane using an optical microscope

A research team at Asahi Kasei Medical and Gakushuin University led by Prof. Takayuki Nishizaka of the Department of Physics has shown for the first-time direct visualization of the behavior of virus and proteins in Planova™ virus removal filters using an advanced microscope system with confocal optics.

Asahi Kasei Medical is the global market leader in virus filtration, with its Planova filters having an unrivaled 30-year history of trusted use in the production of biotherapeutics. We aim to provide “Assurance Beyond Expectation” to ensure product safety and manufacturing efficiency for therapeutics within the biopharmaceutical industry in the form of innovative yet exceptionally reliable purification consumables, equipment and support services.

Planova effectively removes viruses by a size-exclusion mechanism without denaturing proteins. However, the mechanism of how viruses are trapped in the intricate structure of the filter membrane has remained unclear. Recent studies to elucidate the mechanism were limited to ‘static’ observations with an electron microscope. The research team has succeeded in detailed monitoring of the ‘dynamic process’ of virus capture during filtration under an ultra-stable optical microscope.

This study has made one of the scientific breakthroughs to contribute to basic research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Asahi Kasei Medical will continue to contribute to the greater safety of biotherapeutic products by developing high-quality and high-performance products in accordance with market needs while proactively investing in manufacturing facilities.

The article "Direct visualization of virus removal process in hollow fiber membrane using an optical microscope" has been published in Scientific Reports on January 13, 2021. On publication, the paper has been freely available online at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78637-z.

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