Commercializing biotechnology? Constraints, constraints, constraints!

Biotechnology entrepreneurs are a varied lot.

They may be wringing out a drug discovery process, or developing a medical device that will end up inside the human body, or perhaps creating robotics systems that speed up laboratory tasks.

They have the same concerns as entrepreneurs everywhere – keeping expenses in check, retaining key personnel, attracting customers – but with an additional requirement for what might be regarded as extreme cleanliness; products designed for human consumption must meet very high standards.

In addition, biotech entrepreneurs may be competing in commercialization marathons in workplaces that are not 100% ideal for their work, but are the best they can currently afford.

Here’s one of our new products that help protect people and products in development. We think biotech companies will find it useful.

Incorporating new tools on a Portable Down Draft Bench

Model 435 Portable Downdraft Bench – Stand provides respiratory protection wherever it is needed and without dedicated ductwork.

Model 435 Portable Downdraft Bench – Stand provides respiratory protection wherever it is needed and without dedicated ductwork.

In the development process, biotech engineers may find themselves trying a variety of innovative tools to help their process along.

Lasers for marking are one example. Some are available in a very small footprint and are not tethered to cabinetry.

Everyone knows that wearing glasses to protect eyes from lasers is mandatory.

But respiratory protection is required, too.

After all, lasers are used to mark a variety of natural and manufactured materials, from metals to polymers.

Each material, when struck by the laser beam, releases particles or compounds of varying toxicity. (OSHA has also expressed concern about lasers used in surgery because tissue fragments released in the surgical suite may contain viral fragments that become airborne.)

Explanatory graphic about effectiveness of HEPA for particle collection.Fumes are pulled down, away from the operator’s breathing zone

On our Portable DDB, fumes from lasers, micro-machining, etc., are pulled down below the work surface of the bench into particle filters that prevent their escape into the wider work area.

Laser fume extraction, for example, is good for the operator and good for the laser’s optics, which can be damaged by airborne particles produced by the beam.

Portable Down Draft Bench — multiple modes of flexibility

Portable DDB is not tied to building ductwork. It’s portable. Roll it where it’s needed.

Effective ductless technology allows rapidly changing organizations to locate particle- and odor-producing processes wherever they can or must, not necessarily where they would in the lab of their dreams.

To fit a particular process, project managers can choose a DDB hood that has clear windows or one that has metal walls.

Respiratory protection at two heights

Portable DDB-Stand has a work surface that is 36.5 inches in height. For tasks best carried out from a seated position, the Portable DDB-SIT is available at 31.5 inches in height.

Both units offer easy access to the multiple-speed controller and filter chamber.

Filtration tests

When it comes to workplace air, we appreciate extreme cleanliness and strive to create it for our customers, be they pharmaceutical designers or welders.

The efficiency of both our HEPA particulate filters and our activated carbon filters has been tested by certified industrial hygienists and in-house test teams.

From isopropyl alcohol to xylene, our library of efficiency tests for specific substances steadily grows.


Specifications and available options for the both the Model 435 Portable Downdraft Bench –Sit and –Stand are on our website.

Video demonstration is on the Sentry Air Systems YouTube channel.

Get in touch

If your air quality solutions must be cost-effective and flex with your organization, call our Applications Specialists at 800.799.4609, email or fill out the comment form below or on our website.



Safety Rules Can’t Keep Up With Biotech Industry, NYT

Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Manufacturing, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group