Blogs

18
Jan 2022

Evaluating Quality Control Solutions for Parenteral Products

Evaluating Quality Control Solutions for Parenteral Products

Parenteral preparations are defined as solutions, suspensions, emulsions for injection or infusion, powders for injection or infusion, gels for injection and implants. They are sterile products intended to be administrated directly into human bodies. Parenteral drug products are expected to be free from microorganisms, pyrogenic substances as well as other visible particles. Contaminated parenteral drug products can cause serious health concerns to the patient. Hence, sterility assurance and package integrity testing are of paramount importance in parenteral drug manufacturing. Read on to know more about parenteral products package testing methods offered by PTI.

Parenteral products package testing methods:

1. Vacuum Decay technology

Vacuum Decay technology is a non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test method primarily used to detect leaks in package seals. Proven to be the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak test method, Vacuum Decay technology is capable of identifying leaks in sealed rigid, semi-rigid and flexible packaging made of non-porous or porous materials. It provides reliable, accurate and repeatable test results that ensure deterministic package testing and leak detection. Vacuum Decay technology has established itself as a non-destructive alternative to traditional test methods like Water Bath and Dye Ingress, making it a practical solution for leak detection in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industry.

How does Vacuum Decay technology work?

The principle behind Vacuum Decay technology is simple and it challenges container integrity based on fundamental physical properties. The test begins by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, which is equipped with an external vacuum source. Based on the test sample and level of sensitivity required, a pre-determined vacuum level is chosen for the test. The next step involves evaluating the test chamber and test system dead space for a pre-determined period. Differential pressure transducers are used to monitor changes in vacuum levels for a specified period. A pressure increase beyond the predetermined pass/fail limit indicates container leakage.

Benefits 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
  • ASTM Test Method F2338, FDA Consensus Standard and USP 1207 compliant
  •  

2. MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

PTI’s Microcurrent is patent-pending unique CCI technology that has revolutionized the conventional high voltage leak detection method. It is a non-invasive and deterministic container closure integrity testing method that is effective across all parenteral and biologic products including low conductivity liquids such as sterile water for injection. The Microcurrent HVLD test method is highly effective in detecting the presence and location of pinholes, micro-cracks, stopper/plunger leaks, non-visible leaks under crimping and many other defects across applications like pre-filled syringes, vials, cartridges, ampoules, BFS, bottles and pouches. A unique mode of Microcurrent HVLD uses about 50% less voltage and reduces the exposure of product and environment to less than 5% of the voltage when compared to conventional HVLD solutions. The E-scan HVLD series is a leading solution of sturdy container closure integrity test equipment.

Benefits of MicroCurrent HVLD technology

  • Non-destructive & requires no sample preparation
  • Deterministic & non-invasive
  • Highly effective across all parenteral products
  • High levels of sensitivity, accuracy and reliability in results
  • Offline and 100% online inspection at high production speeds
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process
  • Referenced in Chapter USP 1207 Guidance for CCIT
Readmore...
parenteral product leak testing, container closure integrity testing methods, ccit, hvld, vacuum decay technology, package integrity testing
198
21
Dec 2021

Why Manufacturers Rely on High Voltage Leak Detection Technology to Ensure Pharmaceutical Package Integrity

Why Manufacturers Rely on High Voltage Leak Detection Technology to Ensure Pharmaceutical Package Integrity

Packaging is an essential part of the pharmaceutical industry, given the sensitive nature of the contents. High-risk medications and lifesaving drugs need utmost care and protection until they reach the patient. As such, stringent industry standards apply to pharmaceutical packaging. Manufacturers give high priority to safety and quality while selecting packaging materials for a drug or healthcare product. The packaging should be able to act as a barrier against external contamination and chemical reactions. Exposure to reactive gases can alter the physical, chemical and biological attributes of the products. This makes Container Closure Integrity Testing of pharmaceutical packaging a regulatory requirement.

Role of MicroCurrent HVLD in ensuring pharmaceutical package integrity

Often referred to as the conductivity and capacitance test, High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD) is a test method found to be highly effective in detecting the presence and location of leaks in a wide range of pharmaceutical and parenteral applications. It can be used for leak testing in nonporous, rigid or flexible packages, as well as packages containing liquid or semi-liquid products. High Voltage Leak Detection test is conducted using electrical conductivity and resistance principle. This method operates by passing high voltage micro current signals through sample packages. Under the presence of a leak, the electrical resistance of the sample declines, causing an increase in current. Compared to other leak detection methods that rely on flow of gas or liquid, HVLD technology relies on “flow” of current. This reduces challenges with defect clogging compared to flow-based analysis.

The latest evolution of HVLD, PTI’s patent pending MicroCurrent technology, aims to achieve a high level of CCI assurance across the entire range of pharmaceutical products. 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. Ozone in the headspace of a container can be detrimental to the product, and in the operating environment can affect respiratory health.

Benefits:

  • Non-destructive Container Closure Integrity Test (CCIT)
  • Requires no sample preparation
  • Capability to test multiple packages in a single test cycle
  • Identifies which package is defective
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process
  • Supports sustainable packaging initiatives
  • ASTM test method and FDA standard
  • Cost effective with rapid return on investment
  • Readmore...
    hvld, package integrity testing, ccit, container closure integrity, microcurrent hvld
    185
    11
    Jun 2021

    VeriPac Series-Elevating Standards for Package Integrity Testing

    VeriPac Series-Elevating Standards for Package Integrity Testing

    Package integrity testing may be understood as a set of techniques used to protect the contents of a package from potential physical, chemical and microbial threats. It plays a crucial role in determining and maintaining sterility and shelf life of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and food and nutrition products. Since such products are extremely sensitive to external environmental conditions, even a minute breach in the package can cause micro-organisms, reactive gases or other harmful substances to enter the product. This can result in serious health issues to the end user and affect brand loyalty of manufacturing companies. As such, testing for leaks is an important aspect of the manufacturing process.

    Historically, manufacturers relied on destructive testing methods like Water Bath or Dye Ingress as well as other unreliable methods such as Visual Inspection to test integrity of packages. However, such tests lacked accuracy and reliability in test results. Moreover, being destructive testing methods, it caused damages to the package being tested making it unfit for use. These limitations of destructive techniques prompted manufacturers to opt for non-destructive testing methods that do not harm the product and provide reliable, repeatable and quantitative rest results. Reduction in waste coupled with material cost advantage gives non-destructive methods an practical edge over destructive test methods. Examples of non-destructive testing methods include Vacuum Decay technology, Airborne Ultrasound technology and Microcurrent HVLD technology.

    VeriPac test systems for precise and reliable package integrity testing

    PTI’s VeriPac series are non-destructive, non-invasive inspection systems for leak detection and package integrity testing. These systems reduce waste and provide operators with a clear understanding of package quality. The VeriPac test system produces real time results from precise quantitative measurements that identify packaging defects before critical process issues get out of control. Tests can be performed in any sequence and even repeatedly on a single sample. Good packages can be returned undamaged to the packaging line. Testing is more reliable, sensitive and efficient than destructive methods. VeriPac series utilizes the ASTM approved patented Vacuum Decay leak test method F2338, recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing.

    Technology Overview

    PTI’s VeriPac leak testers connect to a test chamber that is specially designed to contain the package to be tested. The package is placed inside the test chamber to which vacuum is applied. The absolute transducer technology is used to monitor the test chamber for both, the level of vacuum as well as the change in vacuum over a predetermined test time. The changes in absolute and differential vacuum indicate the presence of leaks and defects within the package. The test cycle takes only a few seconds, results are non-subjective, and testing is non-destructive to both product and package. The sensitivity of a test is a function of the sensitivity of the transducer, the package design, the package test fixture and critical test parameters of time and pressure. Test systems can be designed for manual or fully automated operation. This inspection method is suitable for laboratory offline testing, QA/QC statistical process control, automated batch or 100% inline testing.

    Benefits of VeriPac series

    • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
    • Deterministic, quantitative test method
    • Defect detection down to 0.2 ccm
    • High level of sensitivity, repeatability and accuracy
    • Short cycle time provides operator with PASS/FAIL result
    • Small footprint and modular portable design
    • ASTM test method and FDA standard
    • Referenced in USP 1207 guidance
    Readmore...
    package integrity testing, veripac series, vacuum decay technology, hvld, airborne ultrasound technology
    543
    30
    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
    Readmore...
    high voltage leak detection technology, container closure integrity, container closure integrity testing, USP 1207, microcurrent HVLD, HVLD
    555
    15
    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, A container and closure system refers to "the entirety of packaging components that together contain and protect the product". 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
    Readmore...
    CCIT, container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, vacuum decay technology, high risk pharmaceuticals, hvld
    987
    04
    Sep 2020

    CCIT - A risk mitigation tool for parenteral products

    CCIT - A risk mitigation tool for parenteral products

    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.
    Readmore...
    CCIT, parenteral product leak testing, container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, package integrity testing, ccit pharmaceutical, hvld
    1491

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