Single-use technologies in biopharmaceutical process technology – why single-use solutions?

Single-use technologies are the future of pharmaceutical logistics and manufacturing. Nowadays, bioreactors etc. are combined into systems that can complete or completely replace process and production chains with stainless steel components. But why are single-use systems being boosted by bioprocessing companies when, in other areas of life, we want to reduce the use of disposable products as much as possible?

Quite simple: they are characterised not only by lower costs, but also by lower energy consumption.

Single-use technologies as a benefit for companies and the environment

Single-use technologies are sterilised during the manufacturing process – and then sterilely packaged. All in all, this leads to enormous savings in energy costs, which shoot up significantly when stainless steel equipment has to be cleaned over and over again. The initial investment also amortises much more quickly.

Ultimately, companies in bioprocess engineering can not only work much more flexibly if they use single-use technologies, but also minimise their expenses. The environment also benefits thanks to the energy saved.

Furthermore: the biggest advantage for bioprocess engineering is, of course, found in a completely different matter – companies no longer have to worry about cross-contamination. Because the components were not used for anything else before.



Single-use technologies are suitable for a wide variety of processes in biotechnology:

  • Media production
  • Production of buffer solutions
  • Cell harvesting
  • Chromatography
  • Filtration processes

The process chains can be equipped with all the necessary elements, for example cooling systems when working with vitamins or proteins, or filters and pumps as well as mixing systems. This way, a complete process line can be formed from single-use technologies – even if combined solutions are currently predominant: this combines disposable and stainless steel as well as glass components (known as hybrid processes).

Advantages that companies in bioprocess engineering benefit from with single-use technologies

Single-use technologies allow process components or lines to be disposed of when a project has been completed – instead of having to clean and sterilise stainless steel or glass all over again. Advantageous for many reasons:

  • No cross contamination
  • Low costs
  • Faster installation
  • Easier maintenance
  • Easy disposal after project completion
  • Energy-saving
  • Space-saving
Marvin Gruß
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