Filtration:Vendor Notes: The Effect of Flux Decay on a 20-nm Nanofilter for Virus Retention - - BioPharm International

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Filtration:Vendor Notes: The Effect of Flux Decay on a 20-nm Nanofilter for Virus Retention


BioPharm International
Volume 20, Issue 4

Model Virus Used for the Nanofiltration Study

The model virus used for the assay was bacteriophage PP7, a small 25-nm, nonenveloped ss-RNA Pseudomonas phage from the Leviviridae family. Leviviridae have a simple construction and are not tailed. They consist of a capsid and are not enveloped. The capsid appears round, is 25 nm in diameter, and has an icosahedral symmetry. The genome consists of linear, nonsegmented, positive sense ssRNA of about 3.4-4.3 kb. Nucleic acid takes up 30% of the total phage weight. PP7 is a model virus used by several filter manufacturers for the evaluation of retention characteristics of 20-nm virus filters. The principal feasibility of PP7 as a model virus for mammalian viruses has been demonstrated in a previous study.8

The PP7 Assay

A plaque assay used Pseudomonas aeruginosa as the target and indicator bacterial cells to be infected by bacteriophage PP7. P. aeruginosa and the bacteriophage PP7 used were from the American Type Culture Collection, USA (ATCC-No. 15692 and ATCC-No. 15692-B2 respectively).

P. aeruginosa was grown as an overnight culture at 37 C in nutrient broth supplemented with 0.5% NaCl. PP7 was harvested from suspensions of infected P. aeruginosa by low speed centrifugation (2000 100 rev/min, 10 1 min). The supernatant was pooled and filtered through a 0.2-m PESU membrane filter, aliquoted, shock-frozen in liquid nitrogen, and stored at –66 5 C until further use.

To determine the PP7 titer, experimental samples (150-L aliquots) were incubated with bacteria as a 50-L aliquot of an overnight culture, diluted 1:100 in nutrient broth (Nutrient Broth Difco 23400, Becton Dickinson) for 10–20 min at room temperature. Subsequently, 3 mL of 0.5% agar (Difco Nutrient Agar, Becton Dickinson) were added. The entire volume was spread on a Petri dish with 1.5% solid nutrient agar. After an incubation period of 20–24 hr at 37 C the plaques induced by bacteriophages were counted.

Calculation and Statistical Analysis

All experimental samples are assayed for bacteriophages in fourfold replicate (150-L each) at undiluted (100) and three different dilutions (101, 102, and 103). After an incubation period of 20–24 hr, the number of plaques on a confluent layer of P. aeruginosa were counted. Three dilutions with countable numbers of plaques were used for the calculation of the PP7 titer.

The Log10 reduction factor in the nanofiltrate was calculated using the following equation:







in which R is the final log10 reduction factor, A 0 is the phage titer/mL upstream of test item, and A n is the phage titer/mL downstream of the test item.

Nanofiltration Study


Figure 1
Flow decay is defined as the decrease of flow during the nanofiltration when compared to the initial buffer flow during flushing of the filter. At 100% buffer flow, flow decay is 0%. As an example, a nanofiltration flow of 50% compared to the initial buffer flow is described as 50% flow decay. During the nanofiltration of the protein solution, instantaneous samples were taken at various levels of flow decays from 5% to around 90% and the LRF was calculated.


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