Today’s healthcare industry assures treatments that were unimaginable a few years ago. As pharmaceutical industry grows in importance, the techniques of primary packaging for healthcare products, especially parenteral products has taken on new prominence. Common parenteral packaging methods include Liquid-filled containers such as vials, ampoules, syringes, blow-fill-seals and auto-injectors and containers filled with lyophilized products. Since these drugs are directly administered into human bodies, high sensitivity integrity tests are required to ensure product quality throughout its shelf life. For reasons of safety, packaging material, integrity and design are regulated by Food And Drug Administration as strictly as the product itself.
Container Closure Integrity Testing is a leak detection test conducted using a non-destructive packaging inspection system to protect the drug from any possible contamination. It is a crucial step in evaluating safety and integrity of the primary packaging so as to maintain a sterile barrier and to avoid leakage resulting in contamination of the drug. Packaging components like bottles, vials, syringes that are in direct contact with the product are called primary components while aluminum caps, cardboard boxes are secondary components as they are not in direct contact with the product. Proper packaging should be a priority for all drug products, but in case of parenteral products, these concerns amplifies several folds as they are directly injected. Hence initiating a proper container closure system is vital for product and consumer safety.
Although Container Closure Integrity Testing can be performed in many different ways, it can be broadly classified into Probabilistic methods and Deterministic methods. Probabilistic test methods including Microbial Challenge by Immersion, Tracer Liquid Tests (e.g. Dye Ingress), Bubble Tests etc. are traditional test methods where result accuracy may be uncertain. On the other hand, Deterministic test methods like Electrical Conductivity and Capacitance Test (HVLD), Laser-based Gas Headspace Analysis, Mass Extraction, Pressure Decay provide quantitative results with high accuracy. The United States pharmacopeia released guidance in 2016 stating that deterministic methods are preferred over probabilistic test methods.Packaging Technologies And Inspection (PTI’s) Microcurrent HVLD technology and vacuum decay technology are the latest inventions in package integrity testing of parenteral products.
1. Microcurrent HVLD Technology
: Microcurrent HVLD is a unique High Voltage Leak Detection Technology, highly effective across all parenteral products. Its Applications include liquid-based products ranging from extremely low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) to proteinaceous products with suspensions. Its ability to detect small pinholes, micro cracks and seal defect detection down to single-digit microns makes it an ideal choice for testing parenteral products.
2. VeriPac Vacuum Decay Technology
: VeriPac Vacuum Decay Technology, based on the ASTM vacuum decay leak test method (F2338-09) and accredited by the FDA for package integrity testing
, is a non-destructive inspection system, capable of defect detection down to 0.002 cc/min. This system is applicable for empty and pre-filled syringes, liquid-filled and lyophilized vials and other flexible and rigid liquid-filled packaging. Depending on the package type and leak test sensitivity needed, appropriate VeriPac model can be selected.
PTI’s next generation PERMA- VAC technology addresses vacuum decay detection at the very core of physical test measurement by controlling the test system volume and maximizing the SNR between good and defective samples. This makes PERMA-VAC the most reliable vacuum-based leak test available in the market.
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