Blogs CCIT

06
Sep 2022

Techniques Involved in Leak Testing Vials

Techniques Involved in Leak Testing Vials

Pharmaceutical vials are small bottles or containers designed for parenteral administration (injection or infusion) in a single patient for a single case, procedure, or injection. They offer the highest Container Closure Integrity (CCI), which is a measure of how well a container protects the pharmaceutical ingredient against contamination by a variety of factors such as moisture, air, and chemicals.

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, the leak test is a critical parameter for vials. A visual inspection process may not detect defects that cause a sterile vial to leak. Thus, the pharma companies move toward CCI test methods. Many manufacturers are not sure how to conduct a container closure integrity test, but parenteral product leak testing is very important to assure that the product remains sterile in the packaging configuration throughout the duration of the product's shelf life.

What is CCIT?

Container Closure Integrity Testing (CCIT) is an important quality control technique for pharmaceuticals. It is an assay that evaluates the container closure and its capacity to keep possible contaminants out. Microorganisms, reactive gases, and other chemicals are examples of potential contaminants. This test is necessary for parenteral products since the seal quality is crucial to the drug product's sterility and quality throughout its shelf life. Inadequate sealing can accelerate the expiration of a drug product and cause significant risk to the patient's health if the product loses its sterility.

Previously, sterility testing was used to demonstrate container integrity. However, due to the insensitivity and other challenges associated with sterility tests, a variety of container closure integrity tests were developed. MicroCurrent HVLD, Vacuum Decay, and Helium Leak Detection are some of them. We give a brief overview of the above pharmaceutical package testing methods that can be used for testing pharmaceutical vials.

Leak Testing Vials Using Various CCI Techniques

  • MicroCurrent HVLD Technology

  • High Voltage Leak Detection (HVLD) is a non-destructive Container Closure Integrity technology that is used to evaluate the closure integrity of parenteral product packaging. HVLD technology makes use of quantitative electrical conductivity and resistance principles. The technology works by transmitting high voltage microcurrent impulses through sample packages. The electrical resistance of the sample lowers in the presence of a leak, resulting in an increase in current. HVLD technology relies on the “flow” of current, while other leak detection methods rely on the flow of gas or liquid. The MicroCurrent HVLD lowers product voltage exposure to less than 5% of that experienced while testing with similar HVLD technologies. When compared to conventional HVLD systems, reducing exposure voltage not only eliminates any risk that the voltage provides to the product, but also significantly reduces Ozone formation during operation. MicroCurrent HVLD can be used to test for leaks in nonporous, rigid or flexible packages, as well as packages containing liquid or semi-liquid products.

  • Helium Leak Testing

  • Helium leak testing is the method of locating leaks in enclosed or sealed systems by utilizing helium as a “tracer” gas and measuring the concentration as it exits owing to leakage. The package is filled with helium and vacuumed in this method. A helium leak detector is used to determine how much helium leaks from the container. The outcome is expressed as a leak rate. Helium leak testing is used in product design, product quality studies, failure analyses, and validation, in addition to being an effective container closure integrity test technique. Helium leak testing ensures high sensitivity leak detection, which is not achieved by many other leak test methods.

  • Vacuum Decay Technology

  • Vacuum Decay is a deterministic Container Closure Integrity testing methodology that relies on package integrity and leak path detection. Unlike human inspection and other non-deterministic testing techniques, Vacuum Decay provides quantitative and reliable test results to assure package integrity. Vacuum Decay technique can handle a wide range of package types, including filled and sealed rigid, semi-rigid, and flexible packaging comprised of nonporous or porous materials. This test involves placing packages in an evacuation test chamber with an external vacuum source. Vacuum levels are regularly monitored to detect deviations from a predetermined intended vacuum level. A defect in the packaging will allow air to escape into the test chamber. Packages with no defects, on the other hand, maintain a steady chamber vacuum level. Over the years, Vacuum Decay technology has proven to be one of the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak detection technologies.

Historically, dye immersion and microbiological immersion were the two most popular methods for leak testing vials. Recently, the USP has issued guidelines requiring the use of deterministic methods in order to produce more consistent and predictable results. USP<1207> recommends that dye immersion tests are avoided and HVLD or Vacuum Decay tests are used instead.

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parenteral product leak testing, pharmaceutical package testing, CCIT, container closure integrity, container closure integrity testing
172
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
417
01
Feb 2022

Development and Validation of CCI Testing Method for Pre-filled Syringes

Development and Validation of CCI Testing Method for Pre-filled Syringes

Pre-filled syringes are becoming more popular as a preferred container closure system for biologics. Pre-filled syringes must offer an inherent barrier that maintains drug product stability and sterility throughout its entire shelf life as a primary container closure system. The ability of the system to retain its microbial barrier integrity must be checked and demonstrated by the drug manufacturers. In 2008, the FDA endorsed CCI testing as part of the sterile product stability protocol.

The pharmaceutical industry has witnessed substantial technical developments in CCI testing in response to rising regulatory demands. MicroCurrent HVLD, Vacuum Decay Leak Testing and Helium Leak Detection are examples of new technologies that have proven enhanced detection capabilities above traditional Dye and Microbial Ingress approaches. Many of the technologies have been employed for CCI testing of drug product stability.

CCI Testing Strategy for Development

Many CCI failure modes can occur throughout the life cycle of a syringe, from component production to drug product filling and sealing, device assembly and packaging, and finally distribution and storage. It is critical to create a comprehensive plan for conducting CCI testing across the whole syringe life cycle.

The creation of the CCI testing technique begins with a detailed study of the construction, design, and manufacturing procedures used in syringes. The failure modes and impacts associated with each aspect of CCI were identified first. The next step was to evaluate whether CCI testing is required, as well as the intended uses and testing frequencies, using a risk-based approach. Knowing that the needle shield compartment seal integrity had been verified by the component supplier, apply a non-routine CCI test to validate its seal integrity during drug product loading and sealing, as well as during device assembly. To ensure CCI was achieved and successfully maintained, implement a complete set of CCI tests across the entire product development cycle for the product-containing syringe barrel compartment.

Method Development and Method Validation

Method development consists of optimizing testing parameters and determining the appropriate pass/fail threshold.

  • Testing parameters optimization
  • Initially, several defect standards of known sizes were examined alongside undamaged samples using varied testing conditions. The relationships between key method parameters and instrument responses to intact and defect samples were comprehensively investigated, with the objective of determining a set of variables that give optimal separation between intact and defect samples. i.e. signal-to-noise ratio or SNR.

  • Pass/fail threshold determination
  • The improved method was utilized to evaluate different lots of filled intact syringes representing relevant product variations, such as drug product batches, and packaging locations and lines, in order to define the preliminary pass/fail threshold. For intact samples, the results of the tests were statistically assessed to determine the instrument baseline and variation (σ). Typically, the pass/fail threshold should be 10 σ higher than baseline. The pass/fail threshold was then further refined and verified by testing defect standards of known sizes.

CCI testing techniques were validated for the pharmaceutical product package. Since the drug product formulation and package design may change during the early development stages, a step-by-step approach was adopted to validate the methods in line with the product development stages. Once product design and packaging design are complete, the methods are fully validated to support CCI testing for initial consistency and process evaluation. The power of the additional long-term method may be further validated before this method is implemented in QC laboratories for routine testing.

During package and pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing, properly selected and verified methodologies are critical for demonstrating container closure integrity. It should be noted that existing CCI testing methods do not provide an optimal solution for all pre-filled syringe CCI testing requirements. To maintain total container closure integrity, an integrated solution involving CCI testing as well as additional engineering and administrative controls is required.

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parenteral product leak testing, container closure integrity, CCI testing, CCIT, vacuum decay leak testing
510
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
568
24
May 2021

Why Microcurrent HVLD is the most preferred CCI technique for Parenteral Product Leak Testing ?

Microcurrent is the most preferred CCI technique for Parenteral Product Leak Testing

Pharmaceutical drugs are the backbone for the pharmaceutical industry as it brings new solutions that help patients to live longer and healthier. These pharmaceutical drugs usually biological & parenteral products like blood components, cells, vaccines, tissues and recombinant proteins. These products contain large complex molecules that are derived from human, animal or microorganisms through biotechnology. The evolution of these complex products has also increased challenges in terms of packaging and transportation.

Owing to the highly sensitive nature of these drugs to various external factors like oxygen, moisture, chemicals, and bacteria, any containment to the drugs is a concern in the health care industry. Poor package performance can cause even chemical alterations to the remedial property of these products. Therefore, parenteral product leak testing has an important role to meet the packaging challenges associated with biological products and to assure the safety of the products during the product life cycle.

Package integrity of parenteral & biologic products

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 effectual 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 have joined the line of sturdy packaging integrity 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 Guidance for CCIT

We, being the think tank of Europe’s container closure integrity always aim to achieve a high-level of package integrity across the entire range of parenteral products

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Parenteral Product Leak Testing, container closure integrity testing methods, CCI
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