May 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 10)

Centrifuges from Celeros Separations Discharge Biopaste in a Sealed Environment

Formerly known as Celeros Separations, Inc. (Foxborough, MA), Celeros Separations, LLC (Durham, NC) has been acquired by its founder Robert Bret Carr, and is now under new ownership and management as of January 2017. Celeros Separations ( has re-launched and released new line of APD (automatic piston discharge) centrifuges for the bioprocessing industry.

GEN recently interviewed the founder and the inventor of Celeros’ APD technology, Robert Bret Carr, to find out more about Celeros Separations, LLC and its product offerings for biomanufacturers.

Celeros Separations APD-125 centrifuge.

GEN: What technologies formed the basis for Celeros’ business and marketing strategies?

Mr. Carr: The Celeros family of APD centrifuges, which includes the APD-75, APD-125, APD-250, and APD-125 II, are semi-continuous solids-handling high-speed tubular bowl centrifuges. The core technology is the unification of three features in one package: a patented automatic piston discharge (APD) technology, its high-speed separation capability, and its low-shear mechanism for shear-sensitive materials.

APD allows complete transferring of separated solids from the bowl without operator intervention. The narrow geometric design of the bowl allows powerful rotational forces from 0–20,000 G, giving centrate clarification and solid isolation. By combining the gentle acceleration of the feed flow, the flooded feed inlet, and submerged centrate outflow, APD minimizes shear to sensitive cells or vaccines.

GEN: What are the benefits of the APD centrifuge to bioprocessors?

Mr. Carr: The benefits of the APD centrifuge are focused on minimizing product loss and liquid clarification in a fully contained aseptic process. The Celeros APD separation system focuses on yield and purity and can provide substantial economic benefits. For recovery of the isolated solids, the APD centrifuge enables bioprocessors to collect and discharge up to 99.9+% of biopaste with no manual intervention.

For clarification, the power of up to 20,000 G significantly maximizes separation efficiency and recovery of the high value liquid phase. Other benefits include: its low-shear design for fragile cells or sensitive biomolecules, full automation to minimize labor as well as to prevent product contamination and associated risks, and its superior clean-in-place (CIP) and steam-in-place (SIP) options.

GEN: What are some of the main applications of APD centrifuges?

Mr. Carr: Applying the benefits of gentle acceleration and powerful separation, APD centrifuge has been proven compatible with the most challenging separation and clarification processes that confront the biotech industry. Verified results of independent laboratory and customer reports show the great advantages in applications, including mammalian and bacterial cell harvesting and debris removal, microbial processing (i.e., E. coli, inclusion body recovery, yeast), protein precipitates, vaccine, and blood plasma fractionation.

It can also be used for specialty polymers and electronic materials for the chemical industry.

GEN: What will be the focus of Celeros as compared to the original company?

Mr. Carr: We are transforming Celeros Separations, LLC into a business that is based on 100% customer satisfaction, parallel to our continuous efforts on product improvement and development. Today, biotech and pharmaceutical process engineers are demanding more from their equipment designers.  We will not only listen but also fully engage customers, i.e., process engineers, to find the best solutions to achieve their goals.

GEN: What will differentiate the new line of APD centrifuges that Celeros will be launching from those that were manufactured and marketed by the previous company?

Mr. Carr: Our APD model of original design is in use at customer installations with good success and reliability. We now have two new products: APD-125 II version 1, which has C.I.P. and S.I.P. capability, and version 2, which has a single-use disposable feature. Both are equipped with the same 20,000 G and process capabilities.

Both versions feature a significantly simplified mechanical structure that will allow much easier manufacturing and maintenance, and exclusion of any liquid/air interface to avoid foaming and product oxidation, and the same wide range of applications as the previous design. 

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