Blogs CCIT

28
Feb 2022

How VeriPac 355 Ensures Quality and Integrity of Pharmaceutical Packages?

How VeriPac 355 Ensures Quality and Integrity of Pharmaceutical Packages?

The pharmaceutical packaging industry is constantly developing as pharmaceutical manufacturers require reliable and efficient packaging solutions that meet a variety of requirements. Packaging is essential for the safe storage and administration of pharmaceutical products. Packaging pharmaceuticals is important not only for storing and protecting products but is also helpful in identifying, marketing, and promoting different brands, and making pharmaceutical products easier to use. Vials, blister packs, bottles, syringes, ampoules, etc are the most common pharmaceutical packages. The packages must perform correctly to ensure that the drug product remains uncompromised throughout the distribution cycle and shelf life. These packages are later tested to guarantee their quality and integrity.

Testing Package Integrity Using VeriPac 355 Series

VeriPac 355 is a non-destructive micro leak detection device for testing container closure integrity and package integrity on a variety of products and packaging types. This system is specially designed to test containers for dry product gas leaks as well as liquid leaks. Since it is non-destructive and does not need sample preparation, the VeriPac 355 can be integrated into protocols at any step in the handling process. The VeriPac 355 is the ideal non-destructive quantitative test technique for various pharmaceutical and food applications, with the capacity to detect leak rates as low as 0.2 cc/min depending on package parameters. The VeriPac 355 core technology is based on the ASTM vacuum decay leak testing method (F2338-09), which is recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing. VeriPac leak test instruments were used to develop this test method.

Technology Overview

The VeriPac 355 leak tester is connected to a test chamber intended to hold the package to be tested. The package is placed inside the vacuum-sealed test chamber. High-resolution absolute transducer technology is utilized to monitor the test chamber for, both the level of vacuum and the change in vacuum during a pre-defined test duration. This is capable of detecting both gross and micro leaks. The test cycle is only a few seconds long and the results are objective. The testing is non-destructive to both the product and the package.

The sensitivity of a test is determined by the sensitivity of the transducer, the package design, the package test fixture, and the crucial test parameters of time and pressure. Test systems can be configured to operate manually or semi-automatically. This method is suitable for offline laboratory testing and QA/QC statistical process control.

Advantages of VeriPac 355

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, and no sample preparation is required
  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Detection of defects down to 0.2 ccm (5 microns)
  • High sensitivity, repeatability, and accuracy
  • Operator receives a PASS/FAIL result within a short cycle time
  • Portable modular design with a small footprint
  • FDA standard and ASTM F2338 test method

VeriPac technology is the optimal non-destructive solution for determining container closure integrity in a variety of package configurations. The strategy for choosing the right VeriPac model is based on the package type and the required leak test sensitivity. Configurations can be optimized and customized to the needs of each application. The VeriPac Series will analyze a wide range of high-risk package applications and ensure that the product fulfills regulatory standards and customer requirements for integrity.

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container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, vacuum decay leak testing, cci technologies, cci test
459
17
Feb 2022

Automation of Class III Medical Device Packaging

Automation of Class III Medical Device Packaging

Testing Container Closure Integrity (CCI) is crucial for ensuring the quality of Class III medical devices. Class III medical devices are sterile components that are designed to be inserted directly into the human body. These devices often sustain or support life, are implanted or pose an unreasonably high risk of disease or damage. A compromised package can serve as a vehicle for microbial transmission and compromised sterility, leaving patient safety at risk. When bacteria or other impurities enter the container, the device ceases to be a treatment and becomes a danger to the patient. Similarly, a breach of the seal affects the sterility of the device and may present a serious quality concern at a key point of usage.

Testing Challenges in the Medical Device Industry

There are three basic approaches to package integrity testing:

  • 100% in-line testing: All products in a batch are tested on a high-speed production line at an acceptable level of CCI assurance.
  • Small batch testing: Testing a statistically significant batch size for certain quality parameters and extrapolating to match the quality of the manufacturing lot.
  • Testing Offline: Operators test packages individually or in smaller batches.

Dye penetration is a technique for identifying defects in package body and seals that has a variable detection capacity. When carried out correctly, the approach can identify pinholes and channel defects as small as 20 microns. This method is only used to validate the packaging process and offers minimal value to in-process quality monitoring. The method is time-consuming to implement and provides limited information in the effort to ensure the quality of high-risk applications.

For CCI testing, the majority of medical device manufacturers use a 100% in-line manual visual inspection technique. Manual visual inspection has been proved to be one of the least reliable techniques for ensuring quality. The failure of manual visual inspection is caused by a number of factors. According to ASTM test method F1886, a manual visual inspection may detect 75-micron channel defects in a transparent seal 60-100% of the time. Although manual visual inspection can be applied as a 100% test method, performance on the task decreases significantly over time. This method is not applicable if the package format is not transparent or semi-transparent.

How Vacuum Decay and Airborne Ultrasound Technologies are Automated?

Vacuum Decay is a deterministic method proven to offer predictable and reliable results for CCI testing of high-risk package applications. This is an ideal solution for non-porous medical device applications. When the major focus of the inspection is the final seal of a porous package, Airborne Ultrasound is exceptionally efficient and reliable at detecting seal defects that are invisible to the manual visual inspector. Both approaches have shown to be reliable non-destructive testing methodologies, and one or the other can be used for inspection based on the unique features of the product and container.

The automation of each technology looks a little different. Vacuum Decay enables approximately 25 to 50 samples per minute, with low throughput detecting single-digit micron leak sizes. Airborne Ultrasound is a rapid-fire sensor that transmits 1000 pulses per second of sound through the seal. The final seal of Tyvek® pouches and other flexible packaging systems may be scanned at a rate of 20 inches per second (~40 cm/sec), with the capacity to detect the most frequent seal faults and seal quality concerns. Both methods enable a production line to ensure quality while reducing production throughput.

The Airborne Ultrasound technology offered by PTI can be automated in many ways. Basically, the technology can measure the quality of a quantitative seal in any way that the pouch seal can pass through the ultrasound inspection head. Ultrasound can be applied to the production flow, which captures seal quality when exiting a band-sealer or transferring pouches through a production line. Robotic handling may also be used to do a full 360-degree seal inspection on all pouch seals. Airborne Ultrasound has the flexibility to be deployed in a variety of production lines and has high reliability in detecting critical defects.

Vacuum decay is often utilized for both Tyvek® trays and non-porous container types. While a vacuum takes longer to do a test (about 5 seconds on a Tyvek tray), the sensitivity and stability of this technology make it perfect for low output applications with high sensitivity requirements. Robotic handling solutions can serve many test stations at the same time, allowing for increased product throughput without losing sensitivity.

Medical devices are packaged and delivered in a variety of ways, ranging from porous flexible packaging to non-porous rigid containers. The range of product types and packaging options create unique inspection challenges that must be overcome in order to assure seal strength, sterility, and quality. Airborne Ultrasound and Vacuum Decay offer 100% testing capabilities as well as an accurate inspection that includes quantitative test results and a pass/fail result. These new automated technologies, with more sensitive leak detection capabilities, inspect containers at a higher rate.

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airborne ultrasound, vacuum decay leak testing, container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, cci testing
385
08
Feb 2022

Understanding CCIT's Seal-Scan Technology

Understanding CCIT's Seal-Scan Technology

Package integrity leak test methods offered by CCIT such as Seal-Scan utilize non-contact Airborne Ultrasonic technology for seal integrity testing and seal quality analysis of pouches and flexible packaging. The method is applicable to pharmaceutical as well as medical device packaging.

Seal Quality Testing and Seal Analysis using Seal-Scan Technology

Seal-Scan® is a non-destructive offline inspection and analysis technique for pouch seals using Airborne Ultrasonic technology (ABUS). Seal-Scan® offers advanced digital imaging software tools for process control, including in-depth seal quality inspection. Seal-Scan system uses the non-destructive ASTM Test Method F3004-13 for "Evaluation of Seal Quality and Integrity Using Airborne Ultrasound Technology." This test method was approved using PTI's ABUS technology. Seal-Scan® is a deterministic, quantitative, high-resolution technology for inspecting pouch seals for defects and ensuring seal integrity.

Seal-Scan has two scanning modes:

  • Linear Scan (L-Scan) to simulate online defect identification (line graph)
  • C-Scan for detailed seal analysis, resulting in pixel-by-pixel seal evaluation (Opto-Acoustic image)

Technology Overview

The pouch seal or packaging material is scanned between two focused ultrasonic sensors. Ultrasonic waves travel through single or several layers of bonded materials. The reflection of sound waves caused by ultrasonic transmission via different materials reduces/eliminates signal intensity. The signal level that passes through the seal is a function of the seal's quality. Defects of various forms, such as leaking and non-leaking, process-related and random, can be detected. Seal-Scan® can provide Opto-Acoustic images as well as thorough statistical analysis using one of two scan modes (L-Scan and C-Scan).

An L-Scan is a single linear scan along the seal's X-axis that generates a line graph of seal integrity and replicates real-time inspection. C-Scan generates a series of scans (along the X and Y-axis of the seal region), that offers a high-resolution ultrasonic image of the seal structure. This technology, via the Seal-Sensor, can be integrated into a pouch production process for 100% online seal defect detection.

Benefits of Seal-Scan Technology

  • Deterministic inspection approach yielding quantitative results.
  • Works with any material and combination, independent of color, transparency, print, surface polish, or porosity.
  • Produces a high-resolution Opto-Acoustic seal image.
  • Characterizes the overall quality and consistency of the seal.

Seal-Scan® is a semi-automatic inspection system with an x-y drive that is used to identify seal defects, characterize seals, and analyze materials. This approach is non-invasive, non-destructive, and does not need any sample preparation. The ability of PTI to adapt this technology to diverse production restrictions and conditions makes it an effective solution for flexible packaging systems.

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seal quality inspection, airborne ultrasound, container closure integrity, cci technologies, package integrity test solutions
338
03
Feb 2022

Package Integrity Testing of Flexible Packages Using VeriPac FLEX Series

Package Integrity Testing of Flexible Packages Using VeriPac FLEX Series

The physical ability of a package to protect its contents with the necessary level of protection during a specific time is referred to as package integrity. Package integrity tests are performed to detect packaging issues that might affect the sterility of a medical device. Previously, microbial challenge or dye penetration testing was used to determine whether the product packaging has maintained its microbial barrier qualities. Due to technological advancements, VeriPac FLEX systems are currently being used for testing the package integrity of flexible packages.

VeriPac FLEX Systems to Ensure the Integrity of Flexible Packages

CCIT’s VeriPac FLEX systems are versatile non-destructive package inspection systems that are intended particularly for evaluating dry-filled pouches and flexible packaging. VeriPac FLEX systems are available in several configurations for both the leak test instrument and the test chamber capacity to accommodate various package specifications and test sensitivity requirements. VeriPac inspection systems provide a simple PASS or FAIL result, as well as quantitative test data. They offer unparalleled sensitivity, reliability, and practicality in testing a wide variety of flexible package formats and sizes, without changing settings or tools.

The ASTM technique for vacuum decay leak testing (F2338), which is specified in ISO 11607 and recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity test solutions, is used by VeriPac FLEX Systems. As an alternative to destructive testing, they eliminate subjectivity while also reducing waste and cost. When compared to destructive techniques like water bath or blue dye leak test, vacuum decay leak testing technology has proven to provide a quick return on investment. The VeriPac test devices consistently detect significant packaging errors and provide useful packaging process information.

Technology Overview

On the basis of the package size, the VeriPac tester is initially attached to the appropriate FLEX chamber. The Integrated Flexible test Chamber (IFC) and Drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) are the two test chamber configurations available to connect with the VeriPac instrument depending on package specification and test sensitivity requirements. The Integrated Flexible test Chamber (IFC) is designed for low-headspace sachets or stick packs. Depending on the package size and requirements, the Drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) is available in 2 basic sizes: Small (D) and Large (DXL). Custom designs are possible for large packaging types and bulk products. The way the package is tested is what sets VeriPac FLEX systems apart. CCIT makes use of a flexible membrane that fits the shape and size of the package, preventing stress and damage to the film materials. In a single test cycle, several packages can be tested.

VeriPac FLEX System Advantages

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Cost-effective with rapid return on investment
  • Accurate and repeatable results
  • USP< 1207> compliant
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives
  • ASTM test method and FDA standard
  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process

Manufacturers are still struggling with quality standards for flexible packaging. CCIT’s VeriPac FLEX has proven to minimize manufacturing waste and costs while boosting package quality assurance and brand value. It has high test sensitivity and is capable of identifying micro leaks down to the single digit micron range.

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package integrity, package integrity test solutions, cci technologies, ccit, container closure integrity
338
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
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