High-performance tangential flow filtration (HPTFF) is shown to successfully enable concentration, purification and formulation in a single unit operation. This is illustrated with feedstreams comprising recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli (E. coli). Using positively charged cellulosic membranes of 100 kDa molecular weight cut-off and operating under a selected range of buffer pH and ionic strength at a filtrate flux of 100 L m−2 h−1, a 10-fold removal of E. coli host cell proteins (HCP) was obtained with an overall process yield of 98%. The HPTFF performance was shown to be robust and reproducible. In addition, the novel charged membrane was regenerated and re-used seven times without loss of selectivity or throughput. When compared with a conventional purification scheme, the proposed process results in the elimination of one chromatographic step, a 12% yield improvement and a significant reduction in purification cost of goods. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2008;100: 964–974. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.