Tangential Flow Filtration (TFF) - also referred to as cross flow filtration - is a fast and effective technique for separating and purifying biomolecules.

In the TFF process, fluid flows tangentially along the surface of a filter membrane. Through the application of a pressure differential within the system, smaller constituents that can pass through the membrane's pore structure are directed into the filtrate, while larger constituents are retained and recirculated along the system's flow path.

TFF is utilized across diverse biological domains including immunology, protein chemistry, molecular biology, biochemistry, and microbiology. TFF is effective for concentrating and desalting sample solutions, fractionating large and small biomolecules, collecting cell suspensions, and clarifying fermentation broths and cell lysates.


Control is Paramount

Control is paramount in TFF. Precise manipulation of key parameters drives the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. Key control parameters include:

Transmembrane Pressure (TMP)

Transmembrane pressure -- the differential pressure across the filter membrane -- plays a pivotal role in process efficiency. By controlling the pressure differential across the membrane, the permeation of substances through the filter can be precisely managed, ensuring the desired separation and purification outcomes.


Crossflow Rate

In conjunction with the TMP, crossflow rate plays a significant part in determining process yield. By optimizing the crossflow rate, fouling and clogging risks are minimized, leading to consistent and reliable results.


Feed Concentration

In continuous diafiltration, salts or solvents (low molecular weight species) in the feed liquid are continuously removed by passes through the filter cartridge. As the unwanted species are pulled through the filter membrane, a replacement buffer (or water) solution is added to the feed container to keep the concentration constant.


Control over these parameters isn't just about achieving optimal results; it's about reproducibility and scalability. A well-controlled TFF process ensures that results obtained in the laboratory can be translated to larger-scale applications with confidence.

The Aqueduct Fluidics openTFF System

We're building the Aqueduct Fluidics openTFF system to be a comprehensive automation solution tailored for lab-scale TFF processes.

The system includes an embedded computer and a dedicated interface board, both enclosed in a sealed housing.

The interface board features three dedicated Mixed IO (MIO) interfaces designed to control laboratory pumps (see a list of compatible pumps here). A 4-20mA speed control output signal and a 4-20mA tachometer input signal enable low-latency speed control and real-time volume accumulation for accurate volume measurement and precise finite dispenses. Two isolated digital outputs enable the manipulation of run and direction toggles while an isolated digital input provides monitoring of pump status (running or stopped).

Four serial communication ports facilitate communication and control of a range of peripherals such as balances, pressure transducers, and recirculating baths, enhancing the system's flexibility and applicability across various setups. By simply configuring the application to recognize the peripheral you have connected, the Aqueduct drivers take care of reading data into the application.

The system includes an Aqueduct Comm bus. This 4-wire, full-duplex RS485 communication interface is exclusively dedicated to interfacing with the Aqueduct pinch valve or other additional nodes, thereby offering the potential for system expansion and integration with other components.

Configure the openTFF system for your process. Add balances, pressure transducers, recirculating baths, temperature, pH, or conductivity probes, or other devices from the Aqueduct toolkit to make the system fit your needs.

Built for Flexibility

The system's modular design allows you to tailor your setup according to your specific process needs. The system allows you to integrate a variety of components, including balances, pH probes, conductivity probes, pressure transducers, and recirculating baths.

Scalability and Adaptability

The openTFF system is designed to grow with your requirements. As your process evolves, you can expand the system by adding new components or functionalities. This scalability ensures that your investment remains relevant and valuable over time, accommodating changing demands and advancing technologies.

Integration with Existing Setup

The openTFF system may be compatible with your existing equipment. Whether you already have certain pumps, sensors, or instruments in place, the system's adaptability enables it to seamlessly integrate with your current laboratory infrastructure.

Full Utilization of Aqueduct Capabilities

By leveraging the capabilities of the Aqueduct platform, the openTFF system provides advanced features that enhance your TFF processes:

  • Simulation Mode: Test and refine your process logic in a simulated environment, minimizing risks and optimizing parameters before implementing them in the actual setup.

  • Event Logging: Capture real-time data and events for comprehensive process documentation, analysis, and troubleshooting. This valuable information supports quality control and process improvement efforts.

  • Third-Party Integration: Integrate third-party databases or APIs into the Aqueduct platform, enabling enhanced data management. This integration expands the system's potential applications and connectivity.

Streamlined Process Development

The openTFF system accelerates process development by offering a user-friendly interface for configuring and controlling various components. The ability to fine-tune parameters and visualize their impact allows for rapid optimization and quicker process deployment.

Contact Us

If you're interested in learning more about the system or have specific requests for peripherals you would like to see added, contact us at