Blogs CCIT

08
Jul 2021

Evaluating Sterile Medical Device Package Integrity Solutions

Evaluating Sterile Medical Device Package Integrity Solutions

Package integrity testing of medical devices is important to ensure safety and security of the product throughout its shelf life. Medical device packaging aims to protect the product from physical damage, biological contamination, or any other external disturbance. Technological advancements have offered a wide range of sustainable as well as economical packaging materials and formats to the medical device industry. However, irrespective of whether the devices are packed in rigid thermoformed trays with Tyvek or film lids, or in pouches of porous or non-porous materials or sealed bottles or even blister packs, pharmaceutical package testing is critical to verify that their sterile barrier characteristics are not compromised. Today, the market offers a complete range of technologies that can non-destructively inspect medical device packages for container closure integrity.

Package Integrity Solutions for Sterile Medical Device

1. Airborne ultrasound Technology

Airborne Ultrasound technology is a seal quality testing method, which is capable of non-destructively conducting advanced seal quality inspection of pouches and flexible packaging. It is capable of accommodating multiple packaging materials like Tyvek, paper, foil, film, aluminum, plastic and poly and is also proven to provide deterministic, reliable and accurate test results.

As the name suggests, this method utilizes ultrasound waves to detect defects in package seals. Ultrasound waves are passed through the material as the package seal moves along the sensor head. This causes reflections of sound waves. Such signal strength variations are closely monitored to identify defects if any. Its ability to evaluate seal quality even under conditions where the defect may not result in a leak, makes Airborne Ultrasound technology a practical choice for seal quality inspection across different industries.

PTI’s Seal-Scan (Offline) and Seal-Sensor (Online) are the latest advancements to the ultrasound test series. Both these technologies make use of non-contact airborne ultrasonic testing technology and have been established as one of the most effective methods for inspection of flexible package seals. Airborne ultrasound is also an ASTM Test Method F3004 for seal quality inspection.

Benefits of Airborne Ultrasound technology:

  • Deterministic seal quality inspection technique that assures quantitative and reliable results.
  • Applicable for multiple material types and combinations regardless of color, transparency, print, surface finish or porosity.
  • Eliminates subjective manual inspection methods.
  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Technology can be integrated for 100% online defect detection of the final pouch seal.

2.Vacuum Decay Technology

Vacuum Decay is a non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test method focused on package integrity and detection of leak paths. Compared to manual inspection and other non-deterministic test methods, Vacuum Decay offers quantitative, deterministic and reliable test results to ensure package integrity. Vacuum decay technology is capable of accommodating a wide variety of packaging formats including filled and sealed rigid, semi-rigid and flexible packaging made of non-porous or porous materials. This test operates by placing packages in a well fitted evacuation test chamber, which has an external vacuum source. The vacuum levels are continuously monitored to identify any variations from a pre-determined targeted vacuum level. A defect in the package will cause air to escape from the package into the test chamber. On the other hand, packages without any defect hold in the air, maintaining constant chamber vacuum level. Vacuum Decay technology has been proven over years to be one of the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak detection solutions.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology:

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation.
  • Capable of detecting defects down to 0.05 cm.
  • Accurate, reliable, repeatable results.
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives.
  • FDA recognized standard for package integrity testing.
  • ASTM test method F2338.
Readmore...
seal quality testing, pharmaceutical package testing, container closure integrity
79
02
Jul 2021

How has VeriPac Systems Raised Standards for Container Closure Integrity Testing

How has VeriPac Systems Raised Standards for Container Closure Integrity Testing

What is Container Closure Integrity Testing?

Container Closure Integrity Testing can be understood as a leak detection test conducted using non-destructive package inspection systems to ensure product stability throughout its shelf life. CCIT plays a major part in ensuring that the products are free from possible contamination. While there are multiple ways to conduct a CCI test, it can be broadly classified into probabilistic and deterministic test methods. Traditional test methods like bubble test, dye ingress and microbial challenge by immersion come under probabilistic test methods. However, upon realizing that such tests lacked accuracy and reliability, The United States Pharmacopeia released guidelines in 2016 stating that deterministic methods ae preferred over probabilistic test methods. Vacuum Decay technology and Airborne Ultrasound technology are among the most preferred deterministic test methods.

VeriPac Test Systems for Effective CCI Testing

The VeriPac test methods are non-destructive, non-invasive inspection system for CCI and package integrity testing. They utilize the ASTM approved patented vacuum decay leak test method recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing.

This ASTM method was developed using VeriPac leak test instruments and has proven its capabilities under GMP regulatory guidelines. Applications for VeriPac technology include stability studies, clinical trials, quality assurance testing and statistical process control (SPC). VeriPac testers feature the patented PERMA-Vac manifold system and dynamic test modes that provide the ability to test a wide range of package formats. Leak detection of high-risk applications requires the highest level of test measurement reliability. The VeriPac series have redefined the reliability and accuracy of test measurement systems.

How do Veripac Test systems Operate?

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 single or dual vacuum 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. Test systems can be designed for manual or automatic operation. This inspection method is suitable for laboratory offline testing and production applications for QA/QC statistical process control. The test cycle takes only a few seconds, is non-invasive and non-destructive to both product and package, making it an ideal choice for CCI inspection across industries.

Inspection Criteria

  • Seal quality testing of entire container or package
  • Measures and verifies container closure system integrity
  • Tests for gas leaks for dry products (lyophilized vials, powder filled)
  • Tests for liquid leaks (liquid filled vials, pre-filled syringes)
Readmore...
seal quality inspection, vacuum decay technology, ccit, container closure integrity
141
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
119
14
Jun 2021

VeriPac UBV for Blister Package Inspection

  VeriPac UBV for Blister Package Inspection

Blister packs are popular packaging options for pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. A wide range of pharmaceutical products are packed in blister packs, ranging from capsules and tablets to high-risk hormone-based drugs and steroidal treatments. Commonly made of thermoformed plastic, these are quite useful in guarding products against external factors like heat, moisture and humidity.

However, concerns over integrity of blister packaging have increased over the years. Even a minute breach in the packaging can result in compromised package integrity. Hence, pharmaceutical manufacturers concerned about quality and shelf life of their products make Container Closure Integrity testing a crucial part of their manufacturing process. There are several methods available to test blister packs, and each has its own merits and demerits. For instance, the most common method to test blister packs remain dye ingress. However, this method is subjective, probabilistic and lacked accuracy in test results. This encouraged manufacturers to use non-destructive CCI test methods, that were accurate and produced quantitative results with measurable result data.

Blister Package Inspection with VeriPac UBV Technology

The VeriPac UBV Leak Detection System is a deterministic, non-destructive technology designed specifically for multi-cavity blister packs. The VeriPac UBV utilizes volumetric imaging under vacuum to detect the presence and location of leaks. It is a rapid test requiring no changeover or sample preparation. Operators simply input the number of blister cavities, place the blister pack on the inspection plate and press the START button. Within seconds, the operator sees a definitive pass/fail result, along with a volumetric measurement reading. The location of the defective cavity is presented to the operator with an image of the tested package. The intuitive and simple method makes it a practical solution giving rapid feedback to production line operators.

The UBV technology can provide rapid detection of defects as small as 10 microns with a fast test time, averaging 10-30 seconds depending on blister cavity volume. Test system requires no tools or test parameter changes for different blister formats. This technology is particularly advantageous for small to tiny blister cavities that are notoriously difficult to detect with a standard Vacuum Decay technology due to the very low headspace.

Technology Overview

Under this method, the sample is first placed inside the hinged test chamber. After pressing the start button, vacuum is pulled to a defined level. The blisters expand under vacuum, driving air out of the blister through any leaks present. If there is a leak in the blister, the air escapes into the chamber leaving a collapsed blister package. During the dynamic vacuum test sequence, a volumetric measurement reading is taken which determines which blister cavities are defective.

Benefits of VeriPac UBV Technology

  • Non-destructive technology
  • Accurate and repeatable results
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data
  • Completely tool-less
  • No changeover to test different blister formats
  • Identifies which cavity is defective
  • Eliminates destructive, subjective testing methods
Readmore...
container closure integrity, CCI, Vacuum Decay Technology, blister package testing
124
28
May 2021

Airborne Ultrasound Technology for Efficient Medical Device Package Inspection

Airborne Ultrasound Technology for Efficient Medical Device Package Inspection

Medical device quality control inspection is considered to be highly significant in ensuring safe delivery of medical devices from their place of origin to the market. However, tremendous development in medical technologies have challenged the medical device packaging industry to ensure quality and reliability in packaging

Adding to that, drug contamination is a serious concern in any medical industry- specifically for Class III medical devices. Class III medical devices are understood as devices that sustain or support life and are implanted, or present potential unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Since these devices are directly placed into human bodies, proper packaging is required to ensure quality of the product until it reaches the patient. Any breach in the packaging can cause contaminants to enter the device, causing major health risks. Hence, appropriate package integrity testing and seal quality inspection of Class III medical devices are required so as to ensure seal quality and sterile barrier integrity are maintained.

Initially, manufacturers heavily relied on visual inspection or other probabilistic test methods to inspect seal quality and integrity. However, such methods lacked accuracy and reliability in terms of test results. Hence, manufacturers are now shifting towards non-destructive method for evaluating seal quality and inspecting physical properties of a seal. One such technique that is increasingly becoming popular among medical device manufacturers is Airborne Ultrasound technology. It is an ASTM test method F3004 and FDA recognized standard for seal quality integrity testing. These tests are primarily conducted to provide advanced seal quality inspection of pouches, flexible packages and tray seals. The test is conducted by transmitting high frequency sound waves through the pouch seal area, providing a simple pass or fail result of seal quality. A linear scan analysis of the seal area will detect channel defects, misaligned seals, incomplete and missing seals immediately after the package has been sealed. If the system detects a package defect, the product can immediately be removed from the packaging and reworked. Process related defects can also be addressed and corrected immediately, which significantly reduces the quantity of defective packages produced

Airborne Ultrasound technology variants, namely Seal-Scan® and Seal-Sensor provide both, offline and online inspection of packages and accommodate various package specifications, test sensitivity and package handling requirements. Seal-Scan® offline systems offer in-depth seal quality analysis and seal characterization. Seal-Sensor online inspection systems for automated 100% inline scanning of pouch seals can be integrated into pouch production or pouch handling line. They provide a quick analysis of the seal area without tampering with the packaging to identify defects, such as incomplete or missing seals, wrinkles, channel defects and so on.

Advantages of Seal Scan and Seal Sensor method

  • Deterministic seal quality inspection method that produces quantitative results.
  • This method works for any material type and combinations regardless of color, transparency, print, surface finish or porosity.
  • Non-destructive and non-subjective test method that requires no sample preparation.
  • Technology can be integrated for 100% online defect detection of the final pouch seal.
  • Repeatable, reproducible and reliable results for seal quality inspection.
  • Cost-effective solution for seal integrity testing and seal analysis that characterizes overall quality and uniformity of the seal.
Readmore...
package integrity testing, seal quality inspection, container closure integrity, medical device package inspection
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