Feb 2022

How can SIMS 1915+ Ensure Pre-Filled Syringes Integrity?

How can SIMS 1915+ Ensure Pre-Filled Syringes Integrity?

Testing a pre-filled syringe is critical when it comes to developing and releasing safe injectables to the market. Pre-Filled syringes are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency and simplicity. In addition, they provide a more dependable and safe option for patients as they contain the exact dose. Container closure integrity test techniques can be utilized to satisfy the regulatory, quality, and safety demands of sterile drug products. During development, qualification, and stability testing, the FDA encourages sterile pharmaceutical manufacturers to employ established and deterministic methodologies to confirm CCI.

Ensuring Pre-Filled Syringes Integrity using SIMS 1915+

Seal Integrity Monitoring System (SIMS) Model 1915+ is a helium-based leak testing system specially designed for a variety of pharmaceutical and medical device product package systems. A pre-filled syringe is one of its applications. Vials, cartridges, and blister cards are other applications. Packages may be quantitatively evaluated to levels much above the vacuum bubble and dye penetration test procedures using helium as the tracer gas. This quantitative method supports the full lifespan by allowing direct comparison across multiple packing materials and formats, production line settings, and stability storage conditions. SIMS 1915+ allows for quantitative analysis of packages with a sensitivity as low as 1 x 10-10 mbar/L/sec and will offer meaningful data sets instead of simple pass/fail criteria.

Seal Integrity Monitoring System (SIMS) model 1915+ helium-based leak testing system from LDA includes an oil-free pump, detector, and integrated power system built for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The most important component is the Helium Leak Detector Module (HLDM), built into a console frame assembly with a stainless steel working surface and an optional dual test port manifold. The freestanding units are equipped with a locking wheel and an articulating arm system for attaching the computer and peripherals, making them easy to operate and move. Each SIMS 1915+ helium leak testing device is manufactured to the specifications and package configurations of the individual customer.

SIMS 1915+ Options

  • Low-Temperature Add-on Systems LT 80 and LT 150 for ultra-cold CCI testing utilizing helium leak detection methods.
  • Vacuum test fixtures come in a variety of sizes to meet all package types and sizes.
  • Helium leak testing for non-vacuum chamber applications with custom test fixtures.
  • External helium leak standards in a variety of leak rate ranges.
  • Helium Sniffer Probe - for determining leak sites on a site-by-site basis.
  • Vacuum clamps, O-ring seals, chamber gaskets, and other components.

Pre-filled syringes benefit the manufacturer as well as the patient. They help in reducing medication mistakes since they have fewer steps and are easier to use than empty syringes. SIMS 1915+, developed by Leak Detection Associates, is an effective technique for testing leaks in pre-filled syringes. End-users may utilize the technology to ensure that manufacturing and packaging processes are efficient and productive while still satisfying safety requirements, international regulations, and market quality standards.

leak test, helium leak testing, helium leak detection, helium leak detection methods, SIMS 1915+
Jan 2022

Role of Helium Leak Detection in Vial Leak Testing

Role of Helium Leak Detection in Vial Leak Testing

Container Closure Integrity Testing (CCIT) is essential for maintaining the sterility and stability of sterile injectable products. The optimal test method varies depending on the product. CCI testing is used to determine if there is a leak between the contents of a container and its external environment. This can be done by identifying whether communication can be established between the contents of the container and its surroundings.

Pharmaceutical containers such as vials, syringes, cartridges, and blister packs are frequently tested as part of a stability study to ensure that the closure of the container can maintain a sterile barrier. As part of a stability testing methodology, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests performing a container closure integrity test instead of a sterility test. Primary packaging methods based on vials for sterile pharmaceutical products must provide protection over the shelf life. This necessitates the demonstration of Container Closure Integrity (CCI), which should be done early in the pharma product development process. Helium leak testing is the most chosen CCI test method due to its high sensitivity when compared to other leak test methods.

What is Helium Leak Testing and How it Evaluates Vial Integrity?

Helium leak testing is one of the Container Closure Integrity (CCI) test methods for testing the leakage of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This method uses helium and the change in concentration is detected when it exits owing to leakage. The applications of helium leak testing include vials, pre-filled syringes, foil pouches, or cold form blister cards. Each of these packaging types is meant to keep out harmful environmental pollutants such as dirt, microorganisms, or even gases while maintaining the sterility of the medicinal product enclosed. The package is filled with helium and subjected to vacuum in this method. A helium leak detector is used to quantify the amount of helium that escapes the package. The result is expressed as a leak rate.

Why Use Helium as a Tracer Gas?

Due to the following reasons, helium is considered an ideal choice for this type of testing:

  • Helium is inert, and it is one of the smallest gas molecules.
  • Small atomic size allows it to breach pathways reliably and easily.
  • Helium is non-toxic, non-condensable, non-flammable.
  • Safe to use as it will not interact with the components being tested.
  • Helium is less expensive and readily available when compared to other tracer gases.
  • The presence of helium in the atmosphere is not more than 5ppm.

As a highly sensitive quantitative test technique, helium leak testing evaluates Container Closure System (CCS) components for parenteral applications. It offers quantitative leak rate data that significantly exceeds the detection limitations of conventional approaches. The method has proven to analyze the impact of processing factors on container closure systems, such as parenteral vial capping applications, elastomeric closure selection, or changing sealing parameters.

helium leak testing, helium leak detection, helium leak detector, leak test, parenteral vials
Jan 2022

Quality Control Testing for Foil Pouches Using Helium Leak Detection


Foil pouches are commonly used when a product requires multi-layered packaging. They are utilized as the innermost layers of packaging. Since the foil pouches come into direct contact with the packaged product, they must be of the highest quality and extremely hygienic. They are typically composed of aluminum and are used to protect products from high temperatures. Furthermore, foil pouches have a low moisture vapor transfer rate. Foil pouches usually contain three to four layers. The higher the number of layers, the higher the pouch quality. Each extra layer increases the strength of the pouch.

Foil pouch integrity testing offers a unique set of challenges. The occurrence of foil punctures is an issue in most packaging techniques that use foil as the product barrier. These imperfections can occur when the foil is rolled into thin sheets and microscopic particles are rolled into the foil by mistake. Handling of the packages during the assembly of the foil and insertion of the drug product is the most typical source of the defect. Although the human eye can only reliably spot punctures bigger than 100 µm, these faults are difficult to identify. Punctures smaller than this can cause substantial ingress and, as a result, affect the effectiveness of the product.

How to Inspect Foil Pouches for Quality Control Using Helium Leak Test?

A highly sensitive method of detecting leaks in enclosed systems by using helium as a "tracer gas" is known as helium leak testing. Pre-filled syringes, foil pouches, and cold form blister cards are the most common applications of helium leak testing. Each of these package types is meant to keep out harmful environmental pollutants including debris, germs, and even gases while maintaining the sterility of the drug product inside. The leak rate is calculated from the amount of helium that escapes from the package.

The sensitivity of the helium leak detection methods makes it an ideal platform for quality control testing foil-based packaging systems. The test technique is designed to identify helium that has been trapped in the packaging system and has leaked via micro-voids in the pouch. Placing the foil pouch in the custom-designed test fixture and drawing a vacuum is the first step in a test sequence. Helium thus escapes through possible defects in the package as a result of the resultant pressure difference. The flow is directed to the analyzer cell at vacuum pressure, where the escaping helium gas is measured in the cell.

The average test cycle time is between 20 and 60 seconds. The test chamber is evacuated to the environment when the test cycle is completed and the measurement is recorded, and a new sample can be tested. The LDA HSAM helium concentration device is used to detect the helium concentration value of each pouch once all samples in the designated set have been tested. This approach normalizes the helium leak rate to 100%, allowing direct comparison of all test samples as well as the manufacturing line configuration.

Helium leak testing, one of the most commonly used CCI testing methods, is used to accurately determine the tiniest of the leaky opening in the foil pouches. Using this method, leaks can be quantified and detected with a high level of sensitivity and quality control testing. The Food and Drug Administration- FDA has long recognized helium leak detection as a consensus standard for package integrity evaluation.

helium leak detection methods, helium leak testing, helium leak detection, leak test, foil pouches

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