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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Metal-Free Methods

Approximately three billion pre-filled syringes (PFSs) were sold worldwide in 2016, and the growth prospects remain strong. Of them, around 15% were medications based on biotechnologically manufactured active ingredients (biotech drugs) filled into syringes. Due to their complexity, these drugs are sensitive to possible interactions with individual syringe components. Undesirable protein aggregations can thus arise in the filled syringes during storage, which impairs the medication’s effectiveness, so manufacturers try to reduce or avoid use of silicone oil or tungsten in pre-fillable glass syringes.

Tungsten Pin Uses

Tungsten is a contact material ideally suited to and often used in the syringe forming process. For the cone forming the tubes are heated to 800-1,200°C, and form rollers restructure them into a cone shape at the syringe’s front end. A tungsten pin is then inserted to keep the bore open and define its interior diameter.

Tungsten has a number of advantages and disadvantages. The benefits include:

  • Heat resistance (with expansion coefficient similar to that of borosilicate glass)
  • Self-lubrication
  • Elasticity
  • Easy to handle


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Bernd Zeiss is Manager of Technical Support Medical Systems at Gerresheimer Bünde GmbH. He has a Diploma of Biology, having studied biology, microbiology and chemistry at Goettingen University, Germany. Today, Bernd is part of the Center of Excellence for Pre-fillable Syringes in Buende. He concentrates on drugcontainer interactions and new developments in the field of PFSs on technical studies and documentation related to PFS. 
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Bernd Zeiss
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