- 1. Why is the level of fines important?
The amount of fines is important whether you are running a column or using a scavenger in a batch reactor. Whether in SPE or Flash cartridges, fines will cause channeling, backpressure and clugging. When you are working in a batch reactor, fines can clug your filter or pass through and contaminate your final product. Our silica gel has the lowest level of fines in the industry and we maintain strict quality control to ensure excellent lot-to-lot reproducibility.
- 1. The difference between silica and polymer
Both are made from the linkage of repetitive units. In the case of polymers it is the repetition of monomer units (Styrene, ethylene, glycol, etc.) and for silica, it is the repetition of SiO4. Therefore the polymer has an organic backbone whereas the silica gel has an inorganic one. The polymer is more susceptible to leaching which happens when the polymer condensation is not completed and parts of it can dissolved in organic solvents.
The polymer active sites are inside the matrix so the rate of action is largely dependent on the rate of diffusion through the polymer. Polymer must be used in solvents that will allow it to swell (DCM, THF, CHCl3). This also means that product can get trapped inside the polymer, greatly affecting the yield.
The silica active sites are on the surface where they are accessible giving fast kinetics and high yields. Silica gel is not affected in any way by any organic solvent since the pore structure is rigid, permanent, and consequently is mechanically and thermally stable.
- 2. How should functionalized silica be handled?
Handling functionalized silica is easy. Unlike polymer, it does not carry any static charge, which makes it easier to weigh and dispense. They can be wet or dry packed. For all functionalized silica gels with a moisture and/or air sensitive functionality, they should be handled under an inert atmosphere in order to preserve their reactivity.
- 1. What is a membrane filter?
A membrane filter is a matrix with channels which act as a screen and retain particles larger than the filter on the surface of the
membrane. Membrane filters allow the retention of sub-micron particles and organisms.
Note that pores have not been observed in RO or NF membranes using a microscope.
Filtration definitions and relative pore size
MF 0.1 - 5.0 micron
UF 0.01-0.1 micron
NF, RO 0.001 (theoretical)
- 2. What is the maximum temperature for the different filter membranes?
The maximum operating temperatures for filter membranes are listed below.
Ceramic - 350°C
Polycarbonate Track Etch - 140°C
Polyester - 140°C
Nitrocellulose (MCE) - 130°C
Nylon - 180°C
Polyethersulfone (PES) - 180°C
Polypropylene - 82°C
Cellulose Acetate - 135°C
PTFE (Laminated) - 130°C
PTFE (Unlaminated) - 260°C
- 3. What is hydrophilic vs hydrophobic membrane?
Hydrophilic filters posses an affinity for water and can be wetted with almost any liquid. a wide variety of hydrophilic membranes,
Polycarbonate Track Etch (PCTE)
Mixed Cellulose Esters (MCE)
Hydrophobic filters lack an affinity for water and are best suited for venting applications. Example of hydrophobic filters are polypropylene
membranes and PTFE (Teflon), either laminated or unlaminated.
- 4. How is the performance of a filter measured?
Design and material selection determines the performance of a filter. Three important measures of filter performance are flow rate,
throughput and bubble point, defined as follows:
Flow Rate: Determines the volume of liquid or air that will flow through the filter at a fixed pressure and temperature. This is usually
displayed as ml/minute/cm^2.
Throughput: Describes the dirt handling capacity of a filter. Namely, how long the liquid will continue to flow through the membrane before
the membrane clogs. The lower the flow rate and throughput, the longer it takes the researcher to complete the analysis.
Bubble point: A test to determine the integrity and pore size of a filter. The differential pressure at which a steady stream of gas bubbles
is emitted from a wetted filter under specific test conditions. The bubble point test measures the largest pore. Bubble point is generally
determined using water or an alcohol (methanol or isopropynol) and is displayed as PSI.
- 5. What organisms are used to determine pore size?
Pore Size Challenge Organism
0.1 μm Acholeplasma laidlawii
0.2μm Brevundimonas diminuta
0.45μm Serratia marcescens
0.8μm Lactobacillus species
1μm Candida albicans
- 6. What variables affect the performance of a filter?
Porosity: The flow rate of a membrane is directly proportional to the porosity of a membrane, eg. the more pores, the higher the flow rate.
Filter Area: The larger the filter area, the faster the flow rate at a given pressure differential and the larger the expected filter throughput
volume prior to “clogging for a given solution.”
Viscosity: The viscosity of a liquid determines its resistance to flow; the higher the viscosity, the lower the flow rate and the higher the
differential pressure required to achieve a given flow rate.
- 7. How are pore sizes rated?
A pore size rating is determined by the diameter of the particle that it can be expected to retain with a defined, high degree of efficiency.
The rating is stated in nominal or absolute terms.
- 8. What is the difference between nominal and absolute pore size ratings?
Nominal pore size rating describes the ability of the filter to retain the majority of the particles at the rated pore size and larger (60-90%).
Glass fiber filters and screen filters are a good example of nominally rated filtration.
Absolute size rating describes the pore size at which a challenge organism of a particular size will be retained with 99.9% efficiency
under strictly defined test conditions. Most membrane filters are rated as absolute terms.
- 9. What is a KD (kiloDalton)?
KD, or kD is the abbreviation for kiloDalton and is equal to 1,000 Molecular Weight Cut-Of(MWCO). A solution having a molecular weight
of 1,000,000 would be equivalent to 1,000 KD. The table listed below gives a general relationship between kiloDalton to Microns
(micrometers), Nanometers, and Angstroms:
KD's Microns Nanometers Angstroms
1,000 KD 0.1 micron 100 1000
500 KD 0.02 micron 20 200
200 KD 0.01 micron 10 100
50 KD 0.004 micron 4 40
10 KD 0.0025 micron 2.5 25
5 KD 0.0015 micron 1.5 15
As a general rule, choose a membrane with a pore size (MWCO) that is less than half of the compound of interest.
- 10. Are Syringe Filters certified pyrogen free?
No, not normally performed pyrogen tests on our filters.
- 11. Can I filter aqueous solutions through a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hydrophobic membrane?
Yes you can, but the membrane requires pre-wetting with alcohol (like Isopropanol or Methanol) to establish flow with reasonable
pressure differentials. We often use a 60/40 solution (60Isopropanol/ 40 water) to prewet the membrane.
- 12. What is the shelf life of membranes?
Cellulose acetate (CA) and nitrocellulose (MCE) membranes will last 2 1/2 to 3 years before reverting to their natural hydrophobic
states. Nylon, on the other hand, is naturally hydrophilic so it does not have a shelf life. An easy test for older membranes is to preform
a"wetting out" test. Dipping a small portion of the membrane into water (hydrophilic membranes) or an alcohol (hydrophobic
membranes) works well. If the membrane absorbs the material, or "wets out", it has not gone past the shelf life.
- 13. What membrane has been used to prevent water vapor from passing, but would allow regular air to pass
The common membranes used for gas/air filtration are our hydrophobic Polypropylene and PTFE Membranes. They both inhibit the
flow of water vapors (hydrophilic) while allowing regular air molecules (such as oxygen) to pass.
For the PTFE membrane the water intrusion pressure (which is inversely related to pore size) isgreatest with the smaller sizes:
Water Intrusion of PTFE
Pore Size (um) Water Intrusion Pressure (psi)
- 14. Which membranes are recommended for gravimetric analysis?
We have several membranes to recommend for gravimetric analysis.
Mixed Cellulose Esters (MCE) Membrane Filters, Plain: In gravimetric analysis using ashing techniques, (MCE) Nitrocellulose filters
yield a residue of less than 0.045% of their initial weight. They are hydrophilic with a non-cytotoxic wetting agent extractable
level of less than 4% of their weight.
Polycarbonate Track-Etch Membranes (PCTE) - 25mm: Polycarbonate Track-Etch or our Polyester Track-Etch (PETE) membranes
are two membranes that offer exceptionally low tare weights, are non-hygroscopic, and exhibit extremely low absorption and
adsorption losses. Since these membranes are non-hygroscopic, they are particularly well suited for gravimetric analysis. They
do not require drying when used directly out of the package. If they are wet, they can be dried rapidly and will not pick up moisture
from the air during weighing.
Analytical Filter Funnels: Funnels are available complete with low hold-up polypropylene support pads, gravimetric analysis is one
of the ideal applications for this product. Each package of 12 units comes with an extender that adapts the unit for side-arm flask
filtrations. Optional No. 8 rubber stoppers may be ordered for filtering with flask.
Glass Fiber Filters & Prefilters: Glass fiber filters without binders are recommended for analytical and gravimetric determinations.
- 15. We would like to filter fluids and wonder which membrane to use for cytology?
Cytology: Cells are removed from the body, then stained and examined under a microscopy. The trained physician or cytotechnologist
is able to detect the presence of malignancy.
Use of either the 5.0 um or 8.0 um polycarbonate membrane.
Pore Structure and PorosityMinimum clogging by red blood cells and protein. Well preserved cellular morphology.High recovery rate. Rapid filtration with low pressure. Surface capture. No cover slip edge sealing.Smooth, Flat SurfaceHigh cell visibility. Improved morphologic resolution. Surface capture."Thinness"Easy mounting. Immediate microscopic examination.Low absorption and adsorptionproved contrast. Greater cell isolation. Easy mounting.Non-stainingImproved contrast. Simpler microscopic analysis routine.TransparencySimpler microscopic analysis routine.Chemical ResistanceUnaffected by conventional cytologic fixatives and stains.StrengthLess critical handling techniques needed.Equipment needed25mm or 47mm filter holderStainless steel forceps5.0um - 25mm or 47mm PCTE membranesGeneral Procedure - procedure may varyMost body fluids contain blood in various amounts.Collect them in a container with an anticoagulant.One recommended using polycarbonate membranes is EDTA (0.1 molar)For each 5-ml specimen generally 1 ml of EDTA solution is sufficient; for specimens of higher blood content, 1 ml of EDTA for each 20-ml specimen is recommended.Fixatives or preservatives recommended are:30 to 50% alchol10% buffered formalinIMucolexxDiagnostic proceduresFor optimeum results employ a limited amount of fluid when preparing specimens that exhibit high cell concentrations. If too much fluid is
used with cellular specimens, such as endometrial washing, ascites, gastrics, pleurals, sputums, and urines, the cells crowd and clog
the filter. A 5-ml specimen or smaller volume provides a good sample if it is properly mixed before filtration.The 8um pore size is recommended for filtering most body fluids.For samples of higher probability of small cancer cells or fewer cancer cells, such as CSF or babyurine, the 5um pore size is recommended.um = micrometer = micron
- 16. Which membrane is recommended for size characterization analysis?
The polycarbonate track-etch (PCTE) membrane is recommended for size characterization analyses. The pores of this membrane are
exceptionally uniform and are offered as low as 0.01um in size.
- 17. Can my Nylon membranes be treated exactly like Nitrocellulose during colony hybridization?
One of our customers was wondering if drying E. coli on Nylon transfer membranes prior to denaturation effects the colony hybridization.
Further, they were wondering if after drying the membranes, would treating with SDS before denaturation effect the hybridization? The
answer is...NO, this will work! The hybridization will not be adversely affected. This is the procedure they used.Procedure1. performed colony lifts2. air dried nylon membranes with E. coli3. incubated 3 minutes on 3MM paper saturated with 10% SDS.4. incubated 5 minutes on 3MM with 0.5M NaOH, 1.5 M NaCI.5. incubated 5 minutes on 3MM with 1.5 M NaCI, 0.5M Tris pH 7.5.6. incubated 5 minutes on 3MM with 2X SSC.7. UV crosslinked without drying.8. prehybridized and hybridized as usual.
- 18. I am interested in gridded, sterile membranes, but I am concerned about the high costsof shipping Ni
We offer two alternatives to gridded Nitrocellulose membranes, which incur no Hazardous materials charges, Nylon and
- 19. How many times can the Capsule filters be autoclaved?
The Capsule filters can be autoclaved at 121°C for up to five 30 min cycles.
- 20. What is the maximum operating pressure for the Capsule filters?
The maximum operating pressure for the Capsule filters varies with liquids and gases.Liquids - 80 psiGases - 55 psi
- 21. Is your Cellullose Acetate (CA) membrane made of mono-, di-, or triacetate?
CA membranes are made from cellulose diacetate.
- 22. What is the difference between cellulose and ＂regenerated＂ cellulose?
Cellulose Acetate is a specific type of polymer used for low protein binding applications.Regenerated cellulose, on the other hand, is a pure cellulose which has been treated in a chemical bath for better chemical resistance.
It has a lower molecular weight and the structure is not as orderly as it is for a cellulose. An example of regenerated cellulose is
"cellophane" used in a dialysis application for artificial kidneys.
- 23. What is the amount of Lignin, if any, in the Cellulose Acetate membranes?
According to the MSDS, the product is 100% cellulose acetate (CA). Some Lignin may still be found within the membrane material due
to the fact that the Lignin comes from the cellulose cell walls. CA is available as a membrane roll, or flat sheet, or syringe filter.
- 24. What is the function of a binder in the glass fiber filter?
The binders purpose is to increase strength and dirt-loading capacity while decreasing fiber slough. They are used for filtration of long
duration under pressure. Binders are Acrylic material added to the borosilicate glass fibers.
Our TCLP glass fiber filters have a pore size of 0.7um and are available. Glass fiber filters without binders are autoclavable and have a
maximum temperature of 500°C.
- 25. What is the thickness of the polypropylene membranes?
The thicknesses of our polypropylene membranes are:0.1um polypropylene: 75-110um0.2um polypropylene: 140-180um0.45um polypropylene: 140-180um
- 26. What are the maximum filtration volumes for the 17mm and 30mm syringe filters?
The 17mm and 30mm syringe filters offer greater filtration volume than smaller filters.17 - 12ml17 with glass fiber prefilter - 20ml30 - 120ml30 with glass fiber prefilter - 180ml
- 27. What is the maximum operating temperature for the 17mm and 30mm syringe filters?
The 17mm and 30mm syringe filters have a polypropylene housing, which allows them to withstand higher temperatures than an
acrylic housing. The 17mm and 30mm's have a maximum operating temperature of 180°C. They are also able to be autoclaved.
- 28. How is pore size determined?
The pore size of a filter, normally stated in micrometers (Jm), is determined by the diameter of a particle that is retained by the filter.
This is determined using a challenge organism and/or bubble point testing.