Conference Dates

October 18-21, 2015


As the bioprocessing industry continues to shift towards single-use systems, there is an increasing need for polymers with improved functionality. This article includes a review of the chemistry and functionality of various polymeric families, and a description of various tools that can be useful. Polyethylene resins are largely used in a variety of single use applications. This paper describes polyethylene chemistry in more detail so that single use system manufacturers and biopharmaceuticals manufacturers can optimize the use of polyethylene polymers in a particular application. The process in which the families of polyethylene polymer resins are manufactured dictates the degree of crystallinity, chain branching of the polymer, and migratory species. These molecular properties determine the physical properties (e.g. strength, flexibility, transparency, etc.) and the processability of the polymer in melt extrusion. The type of polymer can also determine the need for antioxidants and other processing additives which can affect the extractable profile of the contact layer. In addition to polyethylene resins, other polymeric families are known in the industry for providing specific functions such as barrier to moisture or gases, and adhesion. Polyamides, adhesive resins, and EVOH are very well known in the food packaging industry. Extending experience and leveraging tools from food packaging can benefit those who participate in the single use bioprocessing arena. Modeling tools can be used to optimize film structures, relative to cost, thickness, and performance, while minimizing the need for producing numerous test samples. Understanding the properties of the various polymer families allows for the design of the ideal solution for the targeted application(s).