Apr 2021

Understanding PTI’s MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

Understanding PTI’s MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

Container closure integrity may be understood as the ability of container closure systems to maintain a sterile barrier against possible contaminants that can deteriorate the quality of the final product. Even a microscopic leak or breach of the sterile barrier can cause external contaminants to enter the product and compromise its healing properties. Parenteral products are at the highest risk of all package formats. Vials, ampoules and prefilled syringes have the highest potential for microbial growth, and the risk to the end patient amplifies the focus needed on CCI for these applications. Although dye ingress and microbial ingress are common leak testing methods, they are proven to provide subjective results that lack accuracy. Hence regulatory bodies have instructed a shift towards more deterministic test methodologies that can be controlled, calibrated and provide a definitive determination of CCI.

High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD) is an effective Container closure integrity technique for non-destructive package inspection of non-porous pharmaceutical and parenteral products. This technology operates on the simple property of electrical current. The latest evolution of HVLD, PTI’s patented MicroCurrent HVLD technology , aims to achieve a high level of CCI assurance across the entire range of parenteral products. It can precisely detect any leak in a wide range of liquid- filled products including extremely low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions. The MicroCurrent HVLD reduces voltage exposure to the product to less than 5% of the voltage exposure experienced when testing with comparable HVLD solutions. Reducing exposure voltage not only reduces any risk that the voltage poses to the product, but also greatly reduces the production of Ozone during operation when compared with traditional HVLD solutions.

How does MicroCurrent HVLD technology work?

Under this method, the container is scanned by the high voltage probes. High voltage is applied to one side of the container and a ground probe on the opposing side. If the package has no leak, the two container walls (high voltage side and ground side) provide full electrical resistance and no significant current is measured passing through the vial. If there is a micro-leak or crack in one of the container walls, the break-down resistance is reached and the current passes through. HVLD is the only leak detection technology that does not require mass to pass through a defect site, requiring only the passage of electricity through a crack. This characteristic makes HVLD sensitive to leaks in which most leak test solutions cannot identify. Applications of High Voltage Leak Detection Technology include testing of the following package formats:

  • Pre-filled syringes
  • Ampoules
  • Drug product cartridges
  • Liquid filled vials

Benefits of MicroCurrent HVLD:

  • Deterministic, non-destructive, non-invasive
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy
  • Ideal package integrity solution for parenteral products
  • Low voltage exposure to the product and environment
  • Offline and 100% online inspection at high production speeds
  • Referenced in USP 1207 guideline
high voltage leak detection technology, container closure integrity, container closure integrity testing, USP 1207, microcurrent HVLD, HVLD
Apr 2021

Evaluating Container Closure Integrity of High-Risk Pharmaceuticals

Evaluating Container Closure Integrity of High-Risk Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry is crucial to the health care system as they assure treatments that were unimaginable a few years ago. As the industry grows in importance, the techniques of primary packaging for pharmaceutical products, especially high-risk medicines have taken on new prominence.

Since many high-risk pharmaceutical products are filled and sealed in combination devices, it’s critical for manufacturers to ensure that the components function well together. Hence, design and distribution considerations are critical to both the drug and the container. Manufacturing inconsistencies and tolerance differences in packages containing multiple components are primary contributors to distribution issues. Often, such inconsistencies result in container closure failure, causing serious implications down the supply chain. For instance, glass vials and pre-filled syringes may not seal properly at critical fill-finish closure points. Such a failure can cause oxygen or other environmental contaminants to enter the product and compromise the efficacy of the drug in the barrel. At this point, it is critical to use the most precise leak testing method possible.

Why Container Closure Integrity testing is important?

As per the FDA- Food and Drug Administration, Container Closure Integrity testing is defined as ‘the sum of packaging components that together contain and protect the dosage form’. In simple words, Container Closure Integrity testing can be understood as a leak detection test. CCI solutions include non-destructive package inspection technologies to ensure product sterility throughout the product’s lifecycle. CCIT plays a vital role in ensuring that the products are free from any possible contamination. Conventionally, probabilistic test methods like bubble tests, dye ingress and microbial challenge were extensively used in pharmaceutical package testing. Since it was found that such test results lacked accuracy and reliability, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) released guidance in 2016 stating that deterministic methods are preferred over probabilistic test methods. With this new USP <1207> chapter guidance, manufacturers today rely on non-destructive alternatives like Vacuum Decay technology and Micro Current HVLD technology that ensure highly sensitive package integrity solutions.

1. Vacuum Decay technology: Vacuum Decay technology is a non-destructive container closure integrity solution capable of detecting leaks in nonporous, rigid or flexible packages. Vacuum Decay leak testing is conducted by placing a sample package in a well-fitting evacuation chamber, which is provided with an external vacuum source. The vacuum levels as well as the change in vacuum over a fixed test time are closely observed using single or dual vacuum transducer technology. Changes in vacuum level beyond a predetermined pass/fail limit indicate defects within the package. VeriPac Vacuum Decay series can non-destructively test packaging down to sub-micron leak rates - making it an excellent alternative to destructive testing methods.

PTI’s VeriPac 465, the latest addition to the vacuum decay series is a robust and reliable solution for testing pharmaceutical containers and parenteral products, achieving highly sensitive sub-micron leak detection. The VeriPac 465 is the most sensitive vacuum based technology on the market to-date.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay Technology:

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Deterministic test method that provides quantitative results
  • Multiple package testing in a single test cycle
  • Economical with rapid return on investment
  • ASTM Test Method, FDA standard and USP 1207 Guidance

2. Microcurrent HVLD technology: Microcurrent HVLD is a unique High Voltage Leak Detection technology, highly effective across all liquid filled parenteral products. Its applications include liquid-based products ranging from extremely low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) to large molecule-based proteinaceous products with suspensions. Its ability to detect small pinholes, micro cracks and seal defects makes it an ideal choice for testing high risk pharmaceutical and parenteral products.

Benefits of PTI’s MicroCurrent HVLD technology:

  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, no sample preparation
  • Highly effective across all parenteral products, including extremely low conductivity liquids (WFI)
  • Ensure higher levels of accuracy and reliability in test results
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process
  • Offline and 100% online inspection
  • Referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines
CCIT, container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, vacuum decay technology, high risk pharmaceuticals, hvld

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