Tangential Flow Filtration

Extracellular vesicles

Tangential Flow Filtration (TFF) is a filtration process where the filtrate flows tangentially across the filter membrane, making contact with it. This process is in contrast to “cross-flow filtration” or “normal filtration,” where the liquid flows over the membrane and passes through it.

The main advantage of tangential flow filtration is its ability to minimize membrane fouling (commonly known as “membrane fouling”) even during long-term continuous operations. Since the liquid flows over the membrane, it is less prone to fouling, allowing highly efficient filtration.

Tangential flow filtration is widely used in various industries such as biotechnology, food and beverage manufacturing, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. It is particularly useful for the concentration, purification, and separation of biological materials consisting of proteins, nucleic acids, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

A highly selective method is required to isolate and purify exosomes from cell samples or body fluids (such as blood or urine). One such technique used for this purpose is tangential flow filtration (TFF).

TFF separates based on the size and shape of small vesicles like exosomes, allowing for the selective separation and accumulation of exosomes from other unwanted components (such as proteins and lipids).

Compared to other methods for purifying exosomes, TFF offers the advantage of easy scalability and the ability to process relatively large quantities of exosomes in a short period. These characteristics make it particularly suitable for clinical applications of exosomes and large-scale research projects.