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Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE)

Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE)

Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE) tests are commonly performed on various types of filtration media which are designed to provide a level of protection against biological aerosols. This procedure is intended to evaluate surgical face masks; however, the method has been recognized for use with many types of filtration media and devices.

This test is necessary for making marketing claims about the viral filtration efficiency of the filtration material. It has been adapted from the ASTM F2101.

Applicable Standards

  • ASTM F2101

Test Options

Standard turn around times (TAT) are listed below. Ask an expert for a specific consultation on your product.

Code Test TAT (days) Request Quote
VFE110 Virus Filtration Efficiency (VFE): Bacteriophage 16 Add
VFE200 Modified VFE for glued test articles fee Add
VFE110 - Virus Filtration Efficiency (VFE): Bacteriophage
16 days
VFE200 - Modified VFE for glued test articles fee
Standard TAT not available for this product

Sample Specifications

VFE110: Minimum 5 samples recommended; each sample must be 4 x 4 inches (10 x 10 cm) minimum

Study Outline

The Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE) test determines the filtration efficiency of a test article by comparing the viral control counts to test article effluent counts. The test is conducted using the bacteriophage phiX174 as the challenge organism. A liquid suspension of phiX174 is aerosolized using a nebulizer and delivered to the filtration media at a constant flow rate of 28.3 liters per minute (LPM) 1 cubic foot per minute (CFM). The aerosol droplets are drawn through a six-stage Andersen sampler for collection.

The number of viral aerosol droplets contacting the filter media is determined by conducting challenge controls without filter medium in the test system.

Challenge controls are maintained at 1700 – 2700 plaque-forming units (PFU) with a mean particle size (MPS) of 3.0 ± 0.3 µm. This allows filtration efficiencies to be reported up to >99.9%.

The VFE test offers a number of advantages over other filtration efficiency tests. The MPS can be tightly controlled and is sized using a six-stage viable particle Andersen sampler, permitting stage by stage analysis. The VFE procedure is very reproducible, easily performed and provides a more severe challenge to most filtration devices than would be expected in normal use. Large numbers of material can be evaluated in a relatively short time.

The VFE test is commonly performed with the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) test. For housed filters, we recommend the Increased Challenge method, which uses a higher concentration of challenge to be delivered to each test material. Filtration efficiency measurements can be determined up to >99.9999%.

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