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Blogs

06
Feb 2024

Safeguarding Quality - Evaluating Container Closure Integrity in High-Risk Pharma

Safeguarding Quality - Evaluating Container Closure Integrity in High-Risk Pharma

High-risk pharmaceutical products refer to medications and substances that, due to their nature or intended use, pose a higher level of risk to patients and the public. These products often include injectable drugs, biologics, vaccines, and other sensitive formulations that require stringent quality control measures to ensure patient safety and regulatory compliance.

The packaging of high-risk pharmaceutical products presents unique challenges due to the need for exceptional product protection, stability, and, most importantly, containment of the product to prevent contamination. As these products are often administered directly into the body, maintaining the integrity of the container closure system is critical to prevent microbial ingress, oxygen exposure, and other factors that could compromise the drug's efficacy and safety.

Container Closure Integrity (CCI) testing is a vital process within the pharmaceutical industry to verify that the packaging of a product effectively prevents any leakage or contamination. This testing is crucial in ensuring that the pharmaceutical product maintains its integrity throughout its shelf life, safeguarding patient safety and therapeutic efficacy.

MicroCurrent HVLD Technolgy for Testing Integrity of High-Risk Pharma

PTI's MicroCurrent HVLD technology represents a non-destructive and non-invasive approach to testing the container closure integrity (CCI) of various liquid-filled products, including pre-filled syringes, vials, cartridges, ampoules, blow-fill-seal (BFS) containers, bottles, and pouches. This method has proven to be highly effective in ensuring the integrity of container closures in diverse applications.

The technology employs electrode probes to scan sealed containers, aiming to detect any potential leaks. By analyzing changes in the current flow, both the existence of defects in the container and their approximate locations can be identified with precision. This makes the MicroCurrent HVLD technology particularly versatile, capable of detecting leaks in a wide range of liquid-filled products, even those with extremely low conductivity, such as sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions.

One notable advantage of MicroCurrent HVLD is its efficiency in terms of voltage usage. It utilizes approximately 50% less voltage compared to conventional HVLD solutions, contributing to a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly testing process. Moreover, the reduced voltage exposure (less than 5% compared to traditional methods) minimizes potential risks to both the product and the testing environment.

Benefits of MicroCurrent HVLD:

  • Deterministic, non-destructive, non-invasive, non-subjective
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy
  • Ideal package integrity solution for liquid filled parenteral products
  • Low voltage exposure to the product and environment
  • Offline and automated online inspection
  • Referenced in USP 1207 guideline
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ccit, container closure integrity testing, hvld, microcurrent hvld, usp 1207, hvld technology
90
13
Sep 2023

Innovative Robotic Inspection of Pre-Filled Syringes

Innovative Robotic Inspection of Pre-Filled Syringes

The pharmaceutical industry has witnessed a remarkable surge in the use of pre-filled syringes, offering convenient and precise drug delivery for patients worldwide. As the demand for these pre-filled syringes continues to grow, the need for robust quality control and inspection processes becomes increasingly paramount. Traditional manual inspection methods have limitations in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and scalability, paving the way for innovative solutions that can meet the stringent demands of the modern pharmaceutical landscape.

Robotic inspection of pre-filled syringes is a cutting-edge technology that holds the potential to revolutionize the quality assurance process in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Robotic inspection systems offer the advantages of precision, speed, and consistent performance, addressing some of the most critical challenges associated with conventional inspection methods. This novel approach aims to enhance product safety, improve quality control, and streamline the production process, ultimately benefiting both pharmaceutical companies and, more importantly, patients.

What are the Challenges Associated with Robotic Inspection of Pre-filled Syringes?

Robotic inspection of pre-filled syringes present various challenges that are important to address to ensure the safety and quality of pharmaceutical products. Some of the key challenges associated with robotic inspection of pre-filled syringes include:

  • Fragility of syringes: Pre-filled syringes are delicate and can be prone to breakage or damage during the inspection process, especially when handled by robots. Ensuring gentle and precise manipulation by the robotic systems is crucial to avoid any product loss or compromise.
  • Contamination risk: Maintaining a sterile environment is crucial in the pharmaceutical industry. Robotic inspection systems need to be designed and maintained carefully to prevent any potential contamination from the robot itself or the inspection environment.
  • System validation and compliance: Robotic inspection systems used in the pharmaceutical industry must adhere to strict regulatory standards and guidelines. Validating the robotic inspection system and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements can be a complex and time-consuming process.
  • Cost considerations: Implementing robotic inspection systems can involve significant upfront costs. Pharmaceutical companies must carefully evaluate the cost-effectiveness and return on investment of such systems.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: The pharmaceutical industry may introduce new products or modify existing ones over time. Robotic inspection systems must be flexible and adaptable to accommodate these changes without significant reconfiguration or reprogramming.

E-Scan RTX Robotic Test System

The E-Scan RTX platform is a fully automated system that uses MicroCurrent HVLD technology to test the container closure integrity of pre-filled syringes. It is a reliable and versatile solution that can be customized to fit your production needs.

The system uses a robotic arm to pick up syringes from a conveyor belt and rotate them through two test stations. The first station checks for needle shield defects, and the second station inspects the rest of the syringe body. The test results are automatically generated and indicate whether the syringe is passed or failed. The adjustable failure reference allows you to set the LOD (limit of detection) for the test. This means that you can customize the test to be more or less sensitive, depending on your specific requirements. After the test, the syringes are automatically loaded back to the tray or a reject tray.

Here are some specific benefits of the E-Scan RTX platform:

  • It is fully automated, which can help to improve efficiency and accuracy.
  • It uses MicroCurrent HVLD technology, which is a sensitive and reliable method for detecting leaks.
  • It is versatile and can be customized to fit your production needs.
  • It is easy to use and maintain. .

Robotic inspection of pre-filled syringes presents a promising path forward for the pharmaceutical industry, offering unprecedented levels of accuracy, efficiency, and compliance with regulatory standards. By harnessing the power of robotics, pharmaceutical companies can elevate their quality control processes, uphold their commitment to patient safety, and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market.

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pre-filled syringe leak testing, microcurrent hvld, e-scan RTX, automated inspection, container closure integrity testing.
48
11
Sep 2023

Techniques Involved in Leak Testing Pharmaceuticals

Techniques Involved in Leak Testing Pharmaceuticals

Leak testing is an essential process in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the safety and quality of the products. The purpose of leak testing is to detect any leaks or defects in the packaging, that could compromise the integrity of the product.

There are different methods of leak testing available, and the choice of method depends on various factors, including the type of packaging, the product being packaged, and the desired sensitivity of the test. Some of the commonly used methods for leak testing in the pharmaceutical industry are:

Vacuum Decay Technology

Vacuum Decay is a non-destructive container closure integrity test (CCIT) method that focuses on package integrity and detecting leak paths. Compared to manual inspection and other non-deterministic test methods, Vacuum Decay measurements offer deterministic and reliable test results to ensure package integrity. Vacuum Decay technology can accommodate a wide variety of packaging formats, including filled and sealed rigid, semi-rigid, flexible, non-porous or non-porous materials. This test works by placing packages in a well-equipped evacuation test chamber with an external vacuum source. Vacuum levels are continuously monitored to detect any deviations from predetermined targeted vacuum levels. A defect in the package can cause air to escape from the package into the test chamber. On the other hand, defect-free packages hold in air by maintaining a constant chamber vacuum level. Vacuum Decay technology has proven over the years to be one of the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak detection solutions.

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD) is a non-destructive container closure integrity test (CCIT) for evaluating parenteral product packaging integrity. The concepts of quantitative electrical conductivity measurement are used in HVLD technology. HVLD is based on the fundamental nature of electric current. The package barrier must be non-conductive and prevent the flow of electricity, while the package contents must generally be able to carry voltage. The container is placed horizontally on the rotating stage. As the container rotates, a high voltage is applied to one side, and a ground probe is attached to the opposite side. If the package does not leak, the two container walls (high voltage and ground) offer complete electrical resistance and will not record significant current as it travels through the bottle. Breakdown resistance is encountered if there is a micro-leak or crack in one of the container walls and the current passes through. Examples of high-voltage leak detection technology applications include pre-filled syringes, ampoules, drug product cartridges, liquid-filled vials, and blow-fill-seal (BFS) containers.

Force Decay Technology

Force Decay is a quantitative leak detection method that works particularly well with low-headspace packaging. Non-porous materials such as foils, laminates, and films can be used for packaging types. Since it is a non-destructive test procedure, the sample packets are not harmed or changed. Packages do not need to be discarded away when the test is over; they can be added back to the batch. The test system use nested tooling to place the package in the same place and to prevent unmeasured extension of the package under test. Once the test is started, a vacuum is drawn onto the test chamber, which causes the package to expand inside the chamber. The ASTM F2338 vacuum decay leak test technique monitors vacuum levels during the test cycle to evaluate the package. The expansion of the package being tested applies force to the VeriPac force measurement system.

Volumetric Imaging Technology

OptiPac Leak Detection System is one of the deterministic non-destructive package integrity test solutions made especially for blister packs. The One-Touch Technology used in the design and engineering of OptiPac allows for a quick test cycle without the need for sample preparation or changeover. Depending on the size of the blister cavity, this unique technique can quickly identify defects less than 5 microns. Although the OptiPac system employs similar concepts to those used in a vacuum-based blue dye test, it uses controlled inputs and monitored outputs without the hassle and reliability issues of the dye ingress technique. To identify leaks, OptiPac use volumetric imaging technology to measure the motion of a blister package while it being vacuumed.

It is important to note that leak testing should be done at various stages of the packaging process, including before and after filling, and during storage and transport. Proper leak testing can help ensure that the pharmaceutical product is safe and of high quality, which is crucial for patient safety.

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container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, airborne ultrasound, microcurrent hvld, vacuum decay, pharmaceutical package testing
560
16
Jun 2022

Integrity Testing of Vials with MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

Integrity Testing of Vials with MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

Several leak detection methods, that are deterministic and non-destructive, are already available in the market. Pharmaceutical companies are urged to use technologies that significantly enhances quality assurance and leak detection rates. Appropriate leak detection technology is selected based on the specific characteristics of the product and container, such as conductivity, headspace parameters, contents, or API. Historically, dye immersion and microbial immersion have been the two main methods of vial integrity testing. Recently, the USP has issued guidelines that require critical methods to achieve more reproducible and predictable outcomes. USP <1207> encourages a move towards more deterministic methods, recommending the avoidance of dye immersion tests and the use of quantitative, non-destructive technologies instead.

Why High Voltage Leak Detection Method is Preferred for Testing Vials?

High Voltage Leak Detection or HVLD is a deterministic, non-destructive leak detection method to evaluate vials, cartridges, and other liquid-filled parenteral products for Container Closure Integrity. The current generation of PTI’s MicroCurrent HVLD may be utilized with a wide range of liquid-based products, from low conductivity sterile water for injection to highly proteinaceous drug preparations in suspensions. It is one of the most effective online container closure testing methods, requiring just minor infrastructure modifications. When compared to conventional HVLD solutions, MicroCurrent HVLD utilizes approximately 50% less voltage and exposes the product and environment to less than 5% of the voltage. This method is non-invasive and requires no sample preparation. Like vial leak testing, another major application of MicroCurrent HVLD is pre-filled syringe testing.

Working Principle of MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

In this method, the container is scanned using a set of high voltage electrode probes. A high voltage is applied to one side of the container, while a ground probe is attached to the other. If there is no leak in the package, the two container walls (high voltage side and ground side) offer complete electrical resistance, and no substantial current is measured flowing through the vial. If a micro-leak or fracture occurs in one of the container walls, the break-down resistance is achieved, and the current flows through. HVLD is the only leak detection method that does not require mass to travel through a defect location, instead of requiring just electricity to pass through a crack. Because of this feature, HVLD is sensitive to leaks that conventional leak detection technologies are unable to detect.

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology Advantages

  • Deterministic and non-destructive test method.
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy.
  • Ensure more accuracy and dependability in results.
  • At high production rates, both offline and 100% online inspections are performed.
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation procedure.
  • Highly effective in all parenteral preparations, even liquids with extremely low conductivity (WFI).
  • Outlined in the USP 1207 Guideline.

Pharmaceutical containers like vials protect the product from contamination (sterile barrier) and prevent changes in product quality caused by external factors. In order to determine the functionality of such systems, container closure integrity testing is performed. CCIT provides sophisticated analytical methods for evaluating pharmaceutical containers.

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microcurrent hvld, high voltage leak detection, vials, cci technologies, container closure integrity, pre-filled syringe testing
68
23
Mar 2022

Parenteral Products Package Testing with E-Scan HVLDmc

Parenteral Products Package Testing with E-Scan HVLDmc

For parenteral administration, compounded sterile preparations are often made from manufactured sterile materials. As a means of drug delivery, patients commonly require the administration of parenteral formulations. When compared to other methods of drug delivery, this method has both advantages and disadvantages. Nowadays, the ways of administration of new drugs are increasing all over the world. The range of possibilities for drug delivery containers must be reviewed on a regular basis, with the objective of improving compliance and delivery accuracy.

The packaging around a drug product is critical when establishing a new drug product or even re-facing an old one. There has also been an increase in the number of packaging formats for parenteral over the last ten years. Liquid-filled containers such as vials, ampoules, syringes, blow-fill seals, and auto-injectors, as well as containers filled with lyophilized products, are common parenteral packaging methods. Parenteral drugs are directly injected into the human body. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the product quality of parenteral throughout its shelf life. Highly sensitive and reliable test methods are required. In this blog, we will discuss about parenteral product leak testing.

Why Use E-Scan HVLDmc for Testing Parenteral Products Packages?

E-Scan 655 is a revolutionary deterministic offline micro leak test equipment that inspects vials, syringes, and other liquid-filled parenteral products for container closure integrity using a new class of HVLD technology. The technique utilizes a non-contact, non-invasive test procedure that does not need sample preparation. E-Scan 655 is compatible with a variety of liquid-based products, including low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions, including vaccines. At high production rates, the offline E-Scan 655 approach may be converted from laboratory to 100 percent inline testing applications. The E-Scan 655 technology is a non-destructive MicroCurrent conductivity test technique for parenterals. This method exposes the packaging and product to a lower voltage than other conductivity-based solutions.

Using a series of electrode probes, the E-Scan tester scans a sealed non-conductive container. Glass, plastic, or poly laminate can be used to make the container. The liquid must be contained within the container or packet (minimum fill 30 percent). There is a resistance differential and a change in current flow if there is a pinhole, crack, or other flaw, indicating a container breach. The approximate position of the defect can be determined.

Benefits of E-Scan MicroCurrent technology

  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, and no sample preparation is required.
  • Greater accuracy and repeatability.
  • Lower voltage exposure eliminates risk to the product and environment.
  • Quick changeover and simple recipe set up to accommodate a wide range of products and applications.
  • E-Scan MicroCurrent technology is effective across all parenteral products, including extremely low conductivity liquids (WFI).
  • Listed in USP Chapter 1207> as a proposed methodology for parenteral liquid package inspection.
  • The inspection and validation process is simplified.

E-Scan HVLDmc is one of the highly effective CCI technologies for parenteral. It is applicable to pre-filled syringes, vials, cartridges, ampoules, BFS, bottles, and pouches. The technology has a rapid test cycle and is easy to use. PTI’s E-Scan 655 is a patent-pending technology that uses a unique mode of MicroCurrent HVLD technique that requires less than half of the voltage required by existing high voltage technologies. MicroCurrent HVLD technology can be applied from the R&D laboratory to automated 100% inline CCI inspection.

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microcurrent hvld, container closure integrity, parenteral product leak testing, container closure integrity testing, cci technologies
72
20
Jan 2022

MicroCurrent HVLD for Testing the Integrity of Ampoules

MicroCurrent HVLD for Testing the Integrity of Ampoules

Pharmaceutical package integrity testing has always been an important aspect of the quality control and manufacturing process. Container Closure Integrity is critical for protecting the product throughout its lifespan until it is delivered to the patient. CCIT uses non-destructive inspection technologies for ensuring container closure integrity of vials, ampoules, syringes, cartridges, and auto-injectors.

Ampoules must be properly sealed since any crack or defect might contaminate the sterile substance inside. Microbial contamination, exposure to gases, water vapor, and solvent loss can all cause product degradation if there is any breach in the package. Hence, container closure integrity is an essential stage in the lifecycle of a sterile pharmaceutical product. Patients may be at risk if the container closure integrity is compromised. Drugs that are meant to save lives might lose their effectiveness or cause fatal side effects. CCI defects can cause oxidation, which can reduce a drug's potency and shelf life.

Integrity Testing of Ampoules using MicroCurrent HVLD

MicroCurrent HVLD technology detects leaks in nonporous, rigid, or flexible packaging such as ampoules that contains liquid products. This is a non-destructive High Voltage Leak Detection Technology that is highly effective across all parenteral products (vials, syringes, ampoules and BFS). The test technique detects pinholes, microcracks, stopper/plunger leaks, non-visible leaks under crimping, and many other defects by scanning a non-conductive container sealed with electrode probes. Any crack or other defect in the container can cause a resistance difference and a change in the current flow, which would indicate a breach. It is also possible to determine the approximate position of the defect.

When compared to conventional HVLD technologies, MicroCurrent HVLD uses around 50% less voltage and exposes the product and environment to less than 5% of the voltage. At high production speeds, this HVLD method may be simply transitioned from offline to 100 percent inline testing applications. It is a cost-effective online container closure testing solution that requires only minor infrastructure changes. This method is non-invasive and does not need sample preparation. For all parenteral and biologic products, MicroCurrent HVLD is one of the most effective CCI methods.

MicroCurrent HVLD Benefits

  • Effective in all parenteral preparations, even liquids with extremely low conductivity.
  • At high production speeds, inspection can be done both offline and online.
  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, and requires no sample preparation.
  • High level of accuracy and repeatability.
  • Deterministic method for parenteral liquid package inspection.
  • A robust technique for a variety of product classes and packaging forms with an estimated 3x Signal-Noise-Ratio.

Ampoules are such little glass bottles containing a sterile pharmaceutical liquid for parenteral administration. Microbes or other harmful pollutants may enter the ampoules through capillary pores or microscopic breaks, or the contents may leak to the outside. This may result in contamination of the sterile contents as well as a deterioration of the appearance of the package. MicroCurrent HVLD technology offered by CCIT can be applied to a variety of pharmaceutical packing formats including ampoules for testing integrity.

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microcurrent hvld, package integrity, packaging integrity testing, container closure integrity, container closure integrity testing
1242
02
Dec 2021

Assuring CCI in Parenteral Products

Assuring CCI in Parenteral Products

Container closure integrity (CCI) testing requirements and regulatory guidelines have been rising steadily in the pharmaceutical industry in recent years. Parenteral products are often packaged in a variety of ways. The most common packaging formats are - vials, ampoules, syringes, BFS, and autoinjectors.

Microbial contamination, exposure to gases, water vapor, and solvent loss can all cause product degradation if the packaging is breached. As a result, container closure integrity is an important part of the sterile medicine product's lifespan. Patients may be at risk if the container closure integrity is compromised. Drugs that are meant to save lives might lose their effectiveness or cause catastrophic adverse effects. CCI defects might cause oxidation, hydrolysis, or a loss of vacuum, which would have a major influence on the drug's efficacy and shelf life.

MicroCurrent HVLD to assure CCI in parenteral products

The criteria and purpose of the test determine the optimal container closure integrity testing technique. The sensitivity and reliability of the test method, the material of the basic package, and the necessity for inline vs. offline testing are all considerations to consider when choosing the right CCI test method. CCI test procedures such as MicoCurrent HVLD can detect breaches before they become an issue with the product and ensure patient safety.

MicroCurrent HVLD is a non-destructive, highly sensitive technology for parenteral product leak testing. This test technique detects pinholes, microcracks, stopper/plunger leaks, non-visible leaks under crimping, and a variety of other defects by scanning a non-conductive container sealed with electrode probes. A change in current flow indicates the presence of a leak, along with the approximate location of the defect in the container. This is a patent-pending high voltage leak detection technique that has been found to be extremely effective in a variety of applications, including pre-filled syringes, vials, cartridges, ampoules, BFS, bottles, and pouches. Being one of the most effective online CCI testing methods, MicroCurrent HVLD requires very minor infrastructure modifications. This method is non-invasive and does not need sample preparation. It is one of the most effective CCI methods.

What sets MicroCurrent HVLD apart from traditional HVLD technology?

MicroCurrent HVLD, as referenced in USP 1207, is a unique High Voltage Leak Detection Technology for container closure integrity testing. When compared to traditional HVLD solutions, this method uses around 50% less voltage and exposes the product and environment to less than 5% of the voltage. MicroCurrent HVLD is a non-invasive CCI technique that does not require sample preparation, and has a high degree of reproducibility and accuracy throughout. This ground-breaking technique can be applied to a wide range of liquid-filled products including low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and highly proteinaceous pharmaceutical products within suspensions.

Any breach in the sterile packaging systems can cause environmental pollutants to grow, turning a life-saving medicine into a potentially fatal microbial soup. This technology is highly effective across all parenteral and biologic products. At high production speeds, the MicroCurrent HVLD technique is scalable and can easily migrate from offline to 100% inline testing applications. It is a cost-effective online container closure testing solution.

The rapidly increasing preference towards parenteral products continues to fuel innovation, but it also faces distinct challenges in terms of implementing a container closure integrity testing strategy. Parenteral product packaging can be as complicated as the products themselves. To ensure package integrity, CCI testing in accordance with current USP 1207 guidance and regulation is required.

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container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, microcurrent hvld, parenteral product leak testing, cci technologies
54
23
Nov 2021

Pre-filled Syringes Leak Detection with Vacuum Decay Vs MicroCurrent HVLD Test Methods

Pre-filled Syringes Leak Detection with Vacuum Decay Vs MicroCurrent HVLD Test Methods

Pre-filled syringes have a significant role in the injectable drugs market. Because of its convenience, efficiency, and patient safety, pre-filled syringes are now widely utilized in a variety of medical areas. Pre-filled syringes, which are rapidly replacing traditional syringes are frequently used to deliver vaccinations. Defects in pre-filled syringes are mostly determined by pharmaceutical product design and syringe process design. Patient-related concerns are also a regulatory concern. As a result, it is critical for manufacturers to have a thorough understanding of the various tests involved in order to assure patient safety.

Evaluating leak test using Vacuum Decay Vs MicroCurrent HVLD Test Methods

Manufacturers perform Container Closure Integrity testing to ensure that the product maintains sterility and microbiological quality until the point of use. Container closure integrity testing evaluates a container closure system's capacity to maintain a sterile barrier against contaminants that might affect the quality of the resulting pharmaceutical and biological products. Various test techniques may be used to challenge Container Closure Integrity (CCI), however, not all of them are equally capable of finding package leaks. Vacuum Decay and High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD) are the two deterministic test techniques for CCI mentioned in USP 1207, that are frequently used for parenteral products.

Technologies Overview

Vacuum decay leak testing is a CCI test method that has been proven over decades and improved with new technology innovations. When compared to destructive testing techniques, non-destructive testing not only provides for a better knowledge of package quality but also minimizes waste. As a result of the waste reduction, the return on investment will be higher.

Vacuum Decay method operates by enclosing sample packages in a tight-fitting evacuation test chamber with an external vacuum source. The test chamber is monitored for both the level of vacuum and the change in vacuum during a set test duration using either single or dual vacuum transducer technology. The existence of leaks or flaws within the package is indicated by variations in an absolute and differential vacuum. The Vacuum Decay method for leak detection of pre-filled syringes have proven to be an effective method of testing.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay

  • ASTM Test Method F2338 and referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines
  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Repeatable, rapid, and reliable testing
  • Non-destructive technology
  • Completely tool-less with no changeover to test different packaging formats

High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD) is a deterministic CCI test method for package inspection of non-porous pharmaceutical and parenteral goods. This technique is based on the fundamental characteristic of electricity. MicroCurrent HVLD technique, the latest evolution of HVLD developed by PTI, promises to provide a high degree of CCI assurance throughout the whole range of parenteral goods.

This method operates by scanning the container which can be done offline in the laboratory or online in an automated robotic platform. On one side of the container, a high voltage is supplied, while the other side has a ground probe. If there is no leak in the package, the two container walls (high voltage and ground) offer complete electrical resistance, and no substantial current is measured passing through the vial. The break-down resistance is achieved when there is a micro-leak or fracture in one of the container walls, and the current passes through. HVLD is the only leak detection technique that does not require mass to flow through a defect location, instead of relying on electricity to pass through a crack.

Benefits of MicroCurrent HVLD

  • Non-destructive technology
  • Non-invasive, no sample preparation
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy
  • Offline and 100% online inspection at high production speeds
  • Low voltage exposure to product and environment

Pre-filled syringes have emerged as a practical and dependable source for unit dosage medication as the pharmaceutical industry continues to seek possibilities to create convenient drug delivery techniques. We, at CCIT put a lot of effort into developing customized handling solutions that guarantee that syringes are moved without touching their piston to minimize product loss.

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container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, CCI test, microcurrent hvld, vacuum decay leak testing
1575
18
Nov 2021

Importance of Testing and Inspection of Pharmaceutical Products

Importance of Testing and Inspection of Pharmaceutical Products

Prior to commercialization, the development of new pharmaceuticals, particularly combination treatments, was a complicated process involving extensive research. When it comes to packing pharmaceuticals for patient use, several things must be considered to ensure that they satisfy the highest quality requirements and are safe to use.

Nowadays, the challenge of adopting traditional glass or specialized polymers as combination products has become common. Similarly, the demand for scientific evidence to support regulatory requirements for the pharmaceutical industry has also become more prevalent. For effective development and commercialization of a pharmaceutical product, it is important to understand the compatibility and performance of the primary packaging system with both, the pharmaceutical product and the delivery systems, regardless of the material.

Container Closure Integrity (CCI)

Container closure integrity (CCI) testing is important when ensuring the quality of all packaged products, especially when it comes to parenteral drugs. To evaluate the CCI of the packaging system, a pharmaceutical manufacturer must calculate the Maximum Allowable Leakage Limit (MALL) for the pharmaceutical product. MALL is defined by USP<1207> Package Integrity Evaluation – Sterile Products as the highest leak rate that may be tolerated for a specific packaging method while posing no harm to the safety and quality of the pharmaceutical product over its shelf life. In comparison to probabilistic approaches, USP <1207> provides guidelines on how to assess CCI, including deterministic methods, which are strongly encouraged. Helium leak detection, MicroCurrent HVLD, and Vacuum decay- are deterministic techniques. For the given system, these techniques must be created and validated.

Test methods

MicroCurrent HVLD

MicroCurrent HVLD is a non-destructive technique for determining the integrity of container closures for a variety of parenteral liquid products, including ultra-low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI). A non-conductive container is examined for pinholes, micro-cracks, plunger leakage, and non-visible crimping leaks, among other things, using an electrode probe. Whenever a defect is identified, it causes a change in current flow and resistance differential, which indicates a breach in the container. The MicroCurrent HVLD is a High Voltage Leak Detection method effective across all parenteral products.

Helium Leak Detection

Helium leak detection is a deterministic method used to detect leaks in pressure vessels and other enclosed systems. In this technique, helium is used as a tracer gas. The change in helium concentration as it escapes through the container is monitored. For helium-based leak detection systems, the Seal Integrity Monitoring System (SIMS) 1915+ is a perfect choice. Helium as a tracer gas delivers excellent levels of quantitative accuracy when compared to traditional vacuum bubble and dye penetration test techniques. Helium is an optimal solution for product quality monitoring across the product lifecycle.

Vacuum Decay

A non-destructive CCI test method for evaluating medical device package integrity. Non-destructive testing improves package quality while decreasing waste when compared to destructive testing. This testing also saves time and money while ensuring product quality. This method operates by enclosing sample packages in a tight-fitting evacuation test chamber with an external vacuum source. A single or dual vacuum transducer is utilized in the test chamber to measure the level of vacuum as well as the change in vacuum over a pre-defined time period. The existence of leaks and defects is indicated by fluctuations in the package's absolute and differential vacuum.

Regardless of the pharmaceutical product, type of materials, devices used, developing a complete testing plan from initial compatibility to stability and release is critical. To assure the availability of scientific data that helps ensure optimal results for patients as well as rapid regulatory approval and delivery to the market, proper testing is required.

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container closure integrity testing, high voltage leak detection, container closure integrity, seal quality inspection, microcurrent hvld
57
11
Aug 2021

How Automated CCI Testing Reduces Pharmaceutical Package Integrity Issues

How Automated CCI Testing Reduces Pharmaceutical Package Integrity Issues

Container Closure Integrity (CCI) is primarily intended to ensure parenteral bio-pharmaceutical sterility and product quality throughout its shelf-life and usage. Guidelines for initial qualification and standards for validation have been set out and are available in chapter 1207 of the US Pharmacopeia (USP<1207>) (1). Any common CCI testing (CCIT) approach can be used to obtain a method that is suitable for its intended application within an end-use cycle. the principles outlined in USAP<1207>. CCI is an integrative and comprehensive process.

Common challenges faced by the pharmaceutical packaging

Pharmaceutical packaging plays a very important role in ensuring protection and maintaining the quality of pharmaceutical products. As a result, a great number of challenges are faced by pharmaceutical packaging. Let us see some of the challenges.

1. Preserving the medical quality of products

The medicines may lose their therapeutic properties, which is one of the biggest challenges faced by the industry, owing to a continuous exposure to heat and moisture. Pharmaceutical materials must be carefully selected and must not be allowed to alter the product by external elements or the product may become totally waste.

2. Ensuring safe transportation of liquid medications and injections

The other big challenge faced by pharmaceutical packing involves ensuring the safe shipping of non-solid medications such as liquids medications and injections. Due to it’s fluid nature, these non-solid medications are considerably harder to handle, especially with glass packaging. There is a high chance of breaking down. In order to avoid this problem, modern technologies like foam packaging and roto molding cases are integrated into the pharmaceutical packaging industry so that the glass packaging does not break down.

3. Proper information of medicine and dosage

The specified dose consumption of medicine is very much important. Also the package must provide information on the required dose, and information about the medicine it is composed of, expiry date and the serial number in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

Role of CCI testing in reducing pharmaceutical package problems

CCI testing helps mitigate pharmaceutical package issues to a great extent. The capacity to describe elements and chemicals which are able to move through container closure system components and contaminate the therapeutic product is a crucial stage in knowing the biological safety and appropriateness of a container. The US Pharmacopeia (USP) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the main forces behind the safety assessment of materials and container closure systems in the United States. These are complying with high Container Closure Integrity Testing criteria (CCIT).

Many damaging procedures were considered suitable to guarantee that container closures preserve the sterility of devices. Basically blue dye or water bath are the procedures. These procedures were actually time consuming, inaccurate and unreliable. Moreover, test operators may not be able to control some test aspects and the resultant findings may be subjective. As a result, the FDA led the industry to shift away from the probabilistic test techniques in favor of deterministic technologies that make it possible for variables to be checked better, performed in consistent circumstances and reliably detect major leakages. Until the emergence of new technologies such as Vacuum Decay and MicroCurrent HVLD, a proper balance between sensitivity and reliability was a difficult factor. These new technologies can successfully scan containers with a greater sensitive leak detection capacity at a much faster speed than ever before.

Vacuum Decay technology: A non-destructive Container Closure Integrity(CCI) testing method which measures leak by vacuum decay. This technology is usually used for sealed packages. In nonporous, stiff or flexible packaging the vacuum decay test identifies leaks. The vacuum decay leak test method is used to check the packages after they are filled to verify the integrity of the product. This method is mainly used by the food package manufacturer, beverages and pharmaceutical industries. This approach minimizes the number of precious completed medicines needed to evaluate stability because the test is not destructive of the samples. After the vacuum decay test, the same samples may be utilized for additional laboratory tests normally necessary for stability studies.

MicroCurrent HVLD technology: MicroCurrent HVLD is a non-invasive Container Closure Integrity(CCI) technology applicable for a broad variety of parenteral filled liquid goods, including exceptionally injecting low conductivity sterile water and protein-filled products. The test procedure assures CCI by scanning a container that is non-conductive and sealed with electrode samples to identify pinholes, micro cracks, leakage of stoppers/plungers, invisible leaks, etc. The resultant difference of resistance and change in current flow indicates a breakdown in the container. Thus a defect is detected with exact defect location.

In addition to offline laboratory systems for leak detection and package quality testing, CCIT offers configurations that provide the capability of fully automated inspection. These technologies do not compromise the reliability of test measurement and automatic inspections take the perfect time to manage and monitor expensive final goods. Automated inspection platform provides best in class CCI testing with no compromise within the parenteral process. PTI’s technologies provide the reliability and accuracy in test measurement, while the automation platform provides the flexibility needed to not compromise on quality.

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container closure integrity, vaccum decay technology, microcurrent hvld, pharmaceutical package testing, cci
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23
Jun 2021

Evaluating Package Inspection Solutions for Pre-filled Syringes

Evaluating Package Inspection Solutions for Pre-filled Syringes

Did you know that majority of defects in high-risk pharmaceuticals including pre-filled syringes are caused by seal defects, attributed to both process and personnel error? While micro leaks pose a risk, the primary causes of defects are larger seal related quality deviations.

As the pharmaceutical industry is constantly seeking opportunities to develop convenient drug delivery methods, pre-filled syringes have come up as practical and reliable source for unit dose medication. The demand for glass syringes faded as the industry moved towards plastic and disposable syringes. Pre-filled syringes are applied across a wide range of medical sector including vaccines, blood stimulants, and therapeutic proteins.

Convenience in use and reduced dosage errors are the primary benefits associated with pre-filled syringes. They make injections easier and safer for both doctors and patients. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are able to minimize drug waste and increase product life span- which are important factors, particularly with costly biopharmaceuticals. However, considering the fact that pre-filled syringes are complicated combination products, manufacturers face a number of challenges in terms of quality control and stability concerns. Therefore, pharmaceutical package testing demands sound knowledge of various CCI testing methods. In this blog, we will understand how Microcurrent HVLD technology offers reliable seal quality testing of pre-filled syringes.

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology for CCI testing of pre-filled syringes.

High voltage leak detection (HVLD) has been a common technology in the market for decades. The latest evolution of HVLD, MicroCurrent technology, aims to achieve a high level of CCI assurance across the entire range of parenteral products. High voltage leak detection is a method included in USP 1207 as a deterministic test methodology and is an established and reliable solution for all liquid filled parenteral products.

HVLD operates on the simple property of electrical current. The package barrier must be non-conductive and would resist voltage from passing through, while the package contents should generally be able to carry voltage. Liquid products with a conductivity of 5 microsiemens and greater meet the requirement for PTI’s MicroCurrent HVLD

The E-Scan 655 is a Microcurrent HVLD technology-based leak test instrument used to inspect vials, syringes, and other liquid filled parenteral products. It is completely non-destructive to the container and product; exposing the package and product to lower voltage than other conductivity-based solutions. The technology uses a non-contact and non-invasive test method that requires no sample preparation. E-Scan 655 can be used with a wide range of liquid-based products including low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions.

Benefits of MicroCurrent HVLD technology

  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, no sample preparation.
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy.
  • Effective across all parenteral products, including extremely low conductivity liquids (WFI).
  • Lower voltage exposure produces no ozone, eliminating risk to the product and environment.
  • Listed in USP Chapter as recommended method for parenteral liquid package inspection.
  • Robust method and approximate 3x Signal-Noise-Ratio for a wide range of product classes and package formats.
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process.
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pharmaceutical package testing, seal quality testing, CCI, Microcurrent HVLD
62
19
Jun 2021

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology for Sensitive CCI Testing

MicroCurrent HVLD Technology for Sensitive CCI Testing

Container Closure Integrity Testing is a leak detection test conducted using non-destructive package inspection systems, to evaluate whether container closure systems can maintain sterile barriers against potential damages. CCIT plays a vital role in ensuring that the products are free from any possible contamination. Container closure systems are made up of primary packaging components and secondary packaging components. Components like glass, vials or syringes that are in direct contact with the product are called primary packaging components. Secondary packaging components include aluminum caps, cardboard boxes etc. that are not in direct contact with the product.

While there are multiple ways to conduct a Container Closure Integrity test, these methods can be broadly classified into probabilistic and deterministic test methods. Traditional methods like bubble tests, dye ingress and microbial challenge by immersion come under probabilistic test methods. Since it was found that such test results lacked accuracy and reliability, the United States pharmacopeia released guidance in 2016 stating that deterministic methods are preferred over probabilistic test methods. Let us now understand how Microcurrent HVLD technology ensures sensitive CCI testing across different industries and applications.

MicroCurent HVLD technology is a non-destructive test method capable of achieving high levels of CCI assurance across the entire range of parenteral products. It is an FDA recognized ASTM test method capable of detecting the presence and location of pinholes, micro-cracks, stopper/plunger leaks, non-visible leaks under crimping and many other defects. Additionally, MicroCurent HVLD technology is found to be effective in detecting leaks in a wide range of liquid- filled products including extremely low conductivity sterile water for injection (WFI) and proteinaceous products with suspensions. A unique feature of Microcurrent HVLD technology is that it does not require mass to pass through a defect site, requiring only the passage of electricity through a crack.

How does MicroCurrent HVLD technology work?

MicroCurrent HVLD technology functions on the simple property of electrical current. The first step is to place container horizontally on the rotating stage. While rotating the container, high voltage is applied on one side of the container and a ground probe on the opposing side. In the presence of a micro-leak or crack in one of the container walls, break-down resistance is reached and the current passes through. On the other hand, if there is 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 package.

MicroCurrent HVLD reduces voltage exposure to the product to less than 5% of the voltage exposure experienced when testing with other HVLD solutions. Reduced voltage exposure has twin benefits- limits any risk that the voltage may cause to the product, and greatly reduces production of ozone during operation. In fact, experiments have shown that MicroCurrent HVLD produces essentially no Ozone

Benefits MicroCurrent HVLD technology

  • Non-destructive, non-invasive, no sample preparation.
  • High level of repeatability and accuracy.
  • Effective across all parenteral products, including extremely low conductivity liquids (WFI).
  • Lower voltage exposure produces no ozone, eliminating risk to the product and environment.
  • Listed in USP Chapter as recommended method for parenteral liquid package inspection.
  • Robust method and approximate 3x Signal-Noise-Ratio for a wide range of product classes and package formats.
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process.
Readmore...
container closure integrity, CCI, Microcurrent HVLD
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