Container Closure Integrity Testing

Container closure integrity is a key component in maintaining the sterility of products like syringes, vials, and other containers containing drugs or biologics. The stability protocol for sterile products is critical to the validation of container closure system integrity. Whether or not a container can effectively protect its contents, acting as a barrier, against potential contaminants, an ingress of microorganisms, or other compromising substances, is largely evaluated by container closure integrity testing.

What Is Container Closure Integrity Testing?

Container Closure Integrity Testing or CCIT is the validation of the container closure system to maintain a sterile barrier to meet the desired amount of protection or containment of the packaging components. The physical attributes of the container closure system are evaluated to quantify the sterility of the contents. This is performed by measuring the biological, chemical, and barrier properties of the container closure system along with the attributes of the product and container closure.

Container Closure Integrity Testing (CCIT) Methodology

USP 1207 categorizes container closure integrity test methods into two types. These two methodologies are used to evaluate container systems. These are historical methodologies: deterministic and probabilistic. A probabilistic method is premised on an event having a probability of occurring. A deterministic method directly and quantitatively measures a physicochemical property that generates the potential for leakage. Probabilistic testing requires larger sample groups, are more qualitative in nature, and are less quantifiable than the alternative, deterministic methods.

Deterministic methods directly and quantitatively measure a physicochemical property that generates the potential for leakage. Deterministic methods can be used to generate science-based data throughout the product life cycle to develop a package integrity profile that can be used as input for risk management. A “probabilistic method” is based on an event having a probability of occurring, and as such, is less precise. USP 1207 references deterministic methods as preferred, but does support probabilistic methods when no deterministic method is available.

Deterministic Tests

Electrical Conductivity and Capacitance Test (HVLD)

High voltage leak detection is based upon the principle of electrical conductivity and resistance. The premise is that the packaging is less conductive than the product contained inside. A high voltage and high frequency charge is applied across the packaged product sample. The probe sends the current through the sample. While the sample is rotted on a platform, the detection probe measures voltage received as a function of traveling through the container.

Vacuum Decay Method - ASTM F2338

ASTM F2338 is the Standard Test Method for Nondestructive Detection of Leaks in Packages by Vacuum Decay Method. This method involves drawing a vacuum on a package within a test chamber and monitoring the vacuum level for decay.

Headspace Gas Analysis (HGA)

Laser based analysis of a container’s headspace provides a measure of the oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, or internal pressure in rigid or non-rigid package headspace.

Helium Leak Testing - ASTM F2391

ASTM F2391 is the Standard Test Method for Measuring Package and Seal Integrity Using Helium as the Tracer Gas. This test method utilizes a helium leak detector, also known as a Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector (MSLD), equipped with custom designed fixtures for the container or vial that is to be tested. The container closure system is calibrated against a NIST-traceable standard to establish parameters.

Probabilistic Methods

Probabilistic Container Closure Integrity (CCIT) Test Methods: Bubble Emission, Blue Dye Ingress, and Microbial Ingress. While these test methods have been used to validate package container quality, each is limited in reliability. Probabilistic container closure integrity test methods apply a variable to the test sample to then observe a response, whereas deterministic testing is based on a predictable chain of events.

Leakage is measured using physicochemical techniques that are readily controlled and monitored, resulting in quantitative data. Deterministic leak tests are performed on calibrated machines designed to control potential variables, perform uniformly under varying conditions, produce traceable test results, measure smaller leak sizes, and utilize smaller sample sizes with better reliability.

The importance of paternal packaging and container closure integrity testing is mitigation of the risks of incorrectly validating these containers. It is highly recommended that deterministic  methods are used to qualify and validate these packaging systems. Probabilistic tests can continue to be used for certain applications. Deterministic testing is required and recommended for most applications.

Why Purple Diamond?

Purple Diamond can evaluate the product and packaging systems to design, test, and validate the integrity of your container closure system. Purple Diamond is an all-inclusive testing environment, equipped to facilitate Container Closure Integrity testing across multiple industries. In addition to product reliability and fragility testing, Purple Diamond offers extensive materials testing and package integrity testing solutions. Our team of expert engineers are able to test and validate both the packaging and shipping environment specific to your product.

Testing your product’s container closure system in compliance with the standards set forth by ASTM International, Purple Diamond is committed to delivering high-quality results as we develop a comprehensive solution to your specific product testing needs.

Accreditations

Achieving ISO 17025 Accreditation is the pinnacle in third-party laboratory testing accreditation. It confirms that the facility has management, quality, and technical systems in place to ensure accurate and reliable analyses.
ISTA is revered as the certification standard for package testing for distribution. ISTA’s Testing Protocol remains a series of testing methodologies and standards well recognized within the packaging community.
A select few companies are authorized by PHMSA as an approved third-party packaging testing laboratory in accordance with Hazardous Materials Regulations, critical to ensuring safe transport of dangerous goods.

Affiliations

With over 12,000 standards globally, ASTM International’s fully transparent standards development enhances performance and confidence in consumer choices.
The Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry’s peer-reviewed standards improve production through operational methods and industry recognized best practices.

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