Evolution of Ampoule Filling
Man has struggled to create improved medical treatments, tools, and facilities throughout recorded history. Glass ampoules with hermetic seals are used to aseptically store medications. By providing a secure, sterile, and efficient method of storing, transporting, and using liquid and powder drugs, these containers have revolutionised the industry.
History of ampoules
For storing liquids, ampoule-like containers have been used for hundreds of years. As a method of preparing the dead for resurrection, early martyrs preserved the blood of the deceased martyrs in a receptacle like an ampoule.
In France, the anointing oil used during the coronation of the French monarch was preserved in a sacred ampoule. Oil was passed down through generations during this rite, which dates back to 1131, and this container protected it. By 1840, the majority of healthcare facilities were using these ampoules to contain chloroform, which was employed as an anaesthetic.
The first glass module that was hermetically sealed was created in 1890 by French chemist Stanislaus limousine. This method was created by Limousine to address the pervasive issue of injectable solutions that degraded or became contaminated during transit. Like modern glass bottles, this diminutive one had a tapered neck and was filled before being sealed over an open flame.
Modern day ampoules
Although there are many different types of ampoules available today, their fundamental design is the same. They are created by employing a hot flame to cut and shape glass tubes. These containers, which hold chemicals or biological agents, are either composed of plastic or glass. Injectable solutions, air-sensitive compounds, hygroscopic materials, liquid and powdered medications, and analytical materials are some of the primary components.
Modern, sophisticated equipment that guarantees safety and zero contamination during filling is used to fill ampoules. The types of materials that the machines can process include liquids, suspensions, powders, and granules.
Ampoules are cleaned, filled, and sealed using liquid filling equipment. These machines use a variety of technologies to improve speed, quality, aseptic conditions, and safety. Advanced features include multiple head machines that fill numerous bottles at once, automatic control utilising programmable logic controllers to ensure accuracy, automatic handling and centering of ampoules, cleaning, washing, and sterilising using nitrogen gas, and more. Since these devices operate automatically, there is no human contamination. To boost throughput, the apparatus also incorporates a labelling and sealing component.
Additionally, powders are micro dosed into these containers using specialised equipment. They have a piston or auger that they can use to metre the filling powder. Through the use of compressed air jets, mechanical or vibrating fillers, or a vacuum, this system draws a precise amount of powder or granules that are then given to the ampoules. Additionally, the system has parts for washing, sealing, and labelling.
The most popular sealing technique is still using an open flame. A seal on the ampoule is broken in order to open it, resulting in a clean break without any glass shattering. The most popular methods are tip and pull sealing.
When sealing the tip, heat is applied evenly all around the neck to produce melting and the production of a bead. In ampoules that contain liquid, tip seals are typical.
On the other hand, pull seals need a big opening, so they are utilised for containers that are packed with powder. The glass is softened by heating the neck with a burner. After that, the top is pulled and turned mechanically.