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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Packaging Properties

Declan Bogan, along with Gary Leonard and Mike Bigwood at Steripack, explores the principal materials used in the manufacture of healthcare packaging

The fundamental basis of packaging throughout the lifetime of a product is that it provides the following basic functionalities: protection, containment, presentation, identification, information, convenience, patient compliance and disposability. The packaging of any product is dictated by a number of factors, and the final packaging solution results from a series of trade-offs based on risk assessment, material suitability and application needs (see Table 1).

Flexible substrates, which most commonly include foils, films and papers, play a major part in the packaging decision process with flexible laminates frequently chosen as primary packaging.

FLEXIBLE PACKAGING MATERIALS AND PROPERTIES

Converting companies utilise manmade flexible packaging to produce rollstock, header bags, pouches, sachets, blisters and trays. There is no one super-substrate material that has all the desired properties for all applications. Creating an optimum flexible packaging solution for an application is achieved either by customising individual (mono) materials with heat-sealable coatings, or by combining several substrates (multi-layer) with their desirable properties into one structure – all at a suitable cost (see Table 2).

MONO MATERIALS

Within the healthcare sector simple, mono materials are restricted in their application by their functionality, but are not uncommon. The following are some of the common materials utilised.


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Dr Declan Bogan has been working in the life sciences industry since completing his PhD at DCU in 1996. He has worked in a variety of roles both in Ireland and internationally for a variety of life sciences companies, both directly and as a consultant in the sector.
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Dr Declan Bogan
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