The Alfa Laval Culturefuge is a hermetic cell culture separation system, designed for gentle harvesting of shear-sensitive organisms in applications involving mammalian cell cultures and precipitated proteins.

Culturefuge cell centrifuge

Gentle product acceleration

The Culturefuge is a specially developed range of separators for gentle treatment of cell cultures and other shear-sensitive biological material. The unique hollow spindle concept enables gentle acceleration of the feed liquid to the rotational speed of the separator, thereby minimizing cell lysis. This prevents the release of unwanted intracellular proteins or minimizes the destruction of fragile protein precipitates. Yields are thus enhanced and downstream operations optimized.

Scalable cell culture separator

Ideal for cell culture fermentation and continuous cell harvesting under hermetic conditions, the Culturefuge separator delivers consistent product quality and can be accurately and reliably scaled up from use in pilot plants to full-scale production.

Airtight cell culture separator

The Culturefuge is a fully hermetic separator, which effectively eliminates any air-liquid interface inside the separator bowl. This prevents air entrainment, which can cause problems in the downstream filtration process. Furthermore, flow control devices can be located downstream thus enabling implementation of an obstruction-free, full-bore feed arrangement. 

Hygienic design

Culturefuge is engineered using materials that meet stringent regulatory requirements for processing. To maintain hygienic operating conditions, this cell culture centrifuge can be automatically cleaned and sanitized without requiring major disassembly or assembly using Sterilization-in-Place (SIP) and Cleaning-in-Place (CIP) systems. In addition, flushing nozzles spray outside the centrifuge bowl, cyclone and inside the frame hood for maximum hygiene.

Complete separation system

The Alfa Laval Culturefuge is supplied as a skid-mounted separation system consisting of a disk-stack separator mounted on a fixed base frame with horizontal drive shaft, worm gear, lubricating oil bath and hollow vertical bowl spindle, and piping for service liquids and process liquids. It includes an integrated electrical system with starter, programmable logic control (PLC) system and pneumatic unit.

The design of the cell culture separator is in accordance with most major pressure vessel specifications, including ASME and PED.

Design options

    • Superfine electro-polished product contact surface
    • Steam-sterilizable pump for transport of the solids phase
    • Delivery of skid-mounted unit for open operation, contained running, steam-sterilizable aseptic operation, or steam decontamination-only operation.

The Culturefuge range

  • Culturefuge 100 for pilot plants and small-scale production with capacities ranging from 200 to 2,000 l/hr.
  • Culturefuge 200 for medium scale production with capacities ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 l/hr.
  • Culturefuge 300 for medium to large scale production with capacities ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 l/hr.
  • Culturefuge 400 for large scale production with capacities ranging from 5,000 to
    20,000 l/hr.

Upon request, Alfa Laval can provide validation support services and a rigorous Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) in our in-house test facility.


  • Diseño compacto y flexible
  • Esterilizable
  • CIP (limpieza en el lugar)
  • Contenida

El concepto Culturefuge

Cómo funciona

Cut-away of the Culturefuge separator

El separador Culturefuge está diseñado para proporcionar un tratamiento suave y completamente hermético de los cultivos celulares y otros materiales biológicos sensibles al corte.

El material biológico que se va a separar ingresa a la centrífuga a través de una entrada de alimentación de husillo hueco y acelera gradualmente a medida que se desplaza hacia arriba hacia la pila de discos, donde se realiza la separación en el recipiente giratorio de la centrífuga.

La fase líquida separada sale a través de la salida de líquido en la parte superior del recipiente. Los sólidos recolectados en el espacio sólido se descargan de forma intermitente desde la periferia del recipiente.

Durante la producción normal, el agua de operación mantiene el fondo del tazón deslizante cerrado contra la tapa del tazón. Durante la descarga, el fondo del recipiente deslizante cae durante un corto tiempo (menos de un segundo) y los sólidos se expulsan a través de los puertos de descarga.