The PrIME process offers the following advantages over the existing processes
How it Works
PrIME stands for:
The PrIME system separates proteins using a specially developed membrane using electrical current. Every biological component has a natural size and charge. Based on this information you can selectively move one biological component across the membrane away from any other biological contaminates. This is a very powerful separation process as it uses both the natural charge and size of the target molecule to make it transfer across the membrane away from the other components. Existing separation processes use the indiscriminate power of pressure to achieve a separation. Pressure is an indiscriminate force as it pushes all of the biological components through the membrane pores sacrificing selectivity and potentially safety and contributing to an overall process less efficient than PrIME. In effect pressure makes the membrane do all the separation work as opposed to the PrIME system in which the target protein is charged up and moves of its own accord across the membrane.
PrIME’s disposable single use cartridge (see the picture) is designed to separate a molecule of a particular size. For example a 70,000 molecular weight cut off cartridge would be used to separate Albumin which has a molecular weight of 66.5 kda. With a 70,000 molecular weight cut off molecules larger than 70,000 will not transfer across the membrane allowing only smaller molecules to move across the membrane if they have the appropriate charge.
The PrIME cartridge is composed of special polyacrylamide membranes. These membranes are made up of pores with a torturous path rather than holes for the biological components to travel across the membrane. This path allows the system to selectively separate the molecules based on its size and charge and the speed at which these particles travel through the membrane.
In comparison, membranes used in current technologies such as nanofiltration have actual holes that allow passage of the proteins straight through the membrane. As such these membranes are manufactured with homogenous holes of a particular size allowing pressure to force particles through which would not otherwise normally cross the membranes. Pressure also causes fowling of membranes as it pushes all the components against the membrane ultimately blocking up the membrane pores. In comparison PrIME utilises a tangential flow of buffer over the membrane thus washing the membranes during separation and limiting if not completely obviating fowling.
Furthermore, the use of dual properties of size and charge allows the precise selection of the target molecules much more than the use of pressure for separation.