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
- 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
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