For bioprocessing and aseptic applications, the use of TPE tubes allows process equipment to be connected to each other. The separation of these devices may be necessary. In this case, aseptic disconnection is performed at the tubing level. To ensure this disconnection, a tube disconnector is required. GE Healthcare, now branded Cytiva, designs this type of device.
TPE Tube Disconnector from GE Healthcare – Cytiva
The tube disconnector created by Cytiva (previously GE Healthcare) is fully automated equipment. It has been specially designed to allow the sealing of TPE harvest, feeding and sampling tubing connected to bags or other containers for transport or storage. The main uses of the disconnector are in aseptic and bioprocess applications.
The Cytiva Hot Lips tube sealer is, for example, pre-programmed for many brands of tubes. Its operation prevents leakage of fluids such as inoculum, products, holders and buffers through tubes, clamps and caps.
The Characteristics of the Disconnector
Cytiva Hot Lips is used to permanently seal the tubes. The process consists of clamping the tube inserted between two heated jaws. Once melted, the tube is pressed and then cooled under high pressure, resulting in a tight and permanent butt joint.
Programs can be selected to seal all types of thermoplastic tubes of all sizes (from 6.4 to 31.8 mm OD), empty or filled and without adapters. The disconnector has a tamper-proof and leak-proof closure to secure tubes in bags, bottles and other containers.
Operating Steps of the GE Healthcare – Cytiva Disconnector
The operation of disconnecting tubes from the Cytiva Hot Lips is as follows:
Step 1: The jaws are retracted by the machine and advanced to the starting position. The previous parameters, tube type and diameter are displayed on the screen. The correct completion of the machine initialization is indicated by a beep. Information about the correct positioning is provided by the machine by means of encoders and position sensors.
Step 2: Once the tube is inserted into the jaws, the device closes the jaws. Before the jaws reach the final position, according to the predefined tube thickness, the cycle start button is released.
Step 3: If the jaws are in the correct position, the machine starts heating the jaws. Their temperature is preset according to the type and wall thickness of the TPE tube.
Step 4: The preset temperature level is maintained for the time that has also been preset to seal the tube. Once the time has elapsed, the fans cool the tube.
Step 5: The temperature for cooling the tube is preset at a level that is harmless to the operator. A beep is then emitted by the unit at the end of the tube cooling cycle. The jaws then retract. The start button resets the device. The GE Healthcare – Cytiva tube disconnector is lightweight. It can therefore be worn and used anywhere in the factory or laboratory. Its motor is microprocessor-controlled for reproducible performance.