Package validations for medical devices play a significant role in ensuring safe and effective use of products when they reach the patient. Packaging for these safety-critical products must withstand the rigors of the manufacturing process, storage, and the distribution cycle. Package integrity is crucial to maintaining sterility for medical devices, especially those that are to be used during medical procedures or implanted into patients. This is because even a minute defect in the package can affect sterility of the device and cause health risk to the patient. Given below is a list of non-destructive package inspection techniques that help maintain highest quality standards.
CCI techniques offered by PTI
Vacuum Decay technology
Vacuum Decay is a non-destructive package inspection technique that offers the ability to inspect both the entire body of the package and seals for micro leaks and defects. The technology proven to provide reliable, reproducible, repeatable, and accurate quantitative results, is recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for container closure integrity testing (CCIT). Vacuum Decay leak test method is an ASTM Test method (ASTM F2338) that was developed using PTI instruments, it is listed in ISO 11607 and referenced in the United States Pharmacopeia Chapter on CCI (USP Chapter 1207).
Vacuum Decay test method is simple in practice and challenges container integrity based on fundamental physical properties. The samples are placed in a closely fitting test chamber, equipped with external vacuum source. A pre-determined vacuum level is selected depending on test sample and level of sensitivity required. The next step involves evacuating the test chamber and test system dead space for a pre-determined period. Differential pressure transducers are used to monitor change in vacuum level for a specified period. A pressure increase beyond predetermined pass/fail limit indicates container leakage.
Advantages of Vacuum Decay technology:
- Non-destructive package inspection system
- Accurate and reliable results
- Definite pass/fail result based on quantitative test data
- Accommodates multiple packaging formats
- Eliminates destructive, subjective testing methods
- Effective in detecting even minute leaks
Airborne Ultrasound technology
Airborne Ultrasound technology is a non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test used to examine seal quality for defects. It is an ASTM Test Method F3004 and FDA recognized standard for seal quality integrity testing. These tests are primarily conducted to provide advanced seal quality inspection of pouches, flexible packages and tray seals. Airborne Ultrasound technology is a non-destructive and non-invasive seal quality inspection technique suitable for many materials including Tyvek, paper, foil, film, aluminum and plastic. Airborne Ultrasound technology offers a comprehensive approach to evaluate seal quality even in conditions where a seal has a defect but may not leak.
Under this method, ultrasonic waves are propagated through the package seals as they move along the sensor head. This causes reflections of sound waves. The signal strength is either eliminated or reduced in the presence of any defect/leak. Such variations in signal strength are closely monitored to identify the defects.
Benefits of Airborne Ultrasound technology
- Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
- Accurate and reliable results
- Deterministic package inspection technique
- Works on multiple packaging formats and materials
- Economical cost-effective solution for seal integrity testing
- Can be applied to 100% inline seal quality testing
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