ASTM-F1980 › Standard Guide for Accelerated Aging of Sterile Barrier Systems and Medical Devices
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1.1 This guide provides information for developing accelerated aging protocols to model the possible effects of the passage of time on the sterile integrity of the sterile barrier system (SBS), as defined in ANSI/AAMI/ISO 11607–1: 2019 and the physical properties of their component packaging materials. Guidance for developing accelerated aging protocols may also be used for medical devices and medical device materials.
1.2 Information obtained using this guide may be regarded as sufficient evidence for expiration date claims for medical devices and sterile barrier systems until data from real-time aging studies are available.
1.3 The accelerated aging guideline addresses sterile barrier systems as a whole with or without devices. The sterile barrier system material and device interaction compatibility that may be required for new product development or the resulting evaluation is not addressed in this guide.
1.4 Real-time aging protocols are not addressed in this guide; however, it is essential that real-time aging studies be performed to confirm the accelerated aging test results using the same methods of evaluation. Real-time aging (stability) is the requirement of ANSI/AAMI/ISO 11607–1: 2019.
1.5 Methods used for sterile barrier system performance validation, which include, environmental challenge, distribution, handling, and shipping events, are used for package performance (event-related loss of integrity) testing and are beyond the scope of this guide.
1.6 This guide does not address environmental challenging that simulates extreme climactic conditions that may exist in the shipping and handling environment. Refer to Practice for standard conditions that may be used to challenge the sterile barrier system to realistic extremes in temperature and humidity conditions. See Terminology for a definition of “environmental challenging.”
1.7 The data obtained from accelerated aging studies is not to be used as a manner of establishing label storage conditions for sterile barrier systems.
1.8 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
Significance and Use
4.1 The loss of sterile barrier system integrity may occur as a result of physical properties of the materials and adhesive or cohesive bonds degrading over time or by subsequent dynamic events during shipping and handling, or both. Accelerated and real time aging verifies the time-related aspects of potential integrity loss only.
4.2 ANSI/AAMI/ISO 11607–1: 2019, sub-clause 6.1.3, states that “the packaging system shall provide physical protection in order to maintain integrity of the sterile barrier system.” Sub-clause 6.1.6 states that, “A terminally sterilized sterile barrier system with its protective packaging, if included, shall be designed to, maintain sterility through exposure to expected conditions and hazards during the specified processing, storage, handling, and distribution until that SBS is opened at the point of use or until the expiry date.” Sub-clause 8.3.1 states, “Stability testing shall demonstrate that the sterile barrier system maintains integrity over time.” Sub-clause 8.3.3 states, “Stability testing, using accelerated aging protocols, shall be regarded as sufficient evidence for claimed expiry dates until data from real-time aging studies are available.”
4.3 Real time aging programs provide the best data to ensure that sterile barrier system/medical device materials and sterile barrier system/medical device integrity do not degrade over time. However, due to market conditions in which products may become obsolete in a short time, and the desire to get new products to market in the shortest possible time, real time aging studies do not meet this objective. Accelerated aging studies can provide an alternative means of screening for possible aging-related failure mechanisms in the SBS or medical device. To ensure that accelerated aging studies represent real time effects, real time aging studies must be conducted in parallel to accelerated studies. Real time studies must be carried out to the claimed shelf life of the product and be performed to their completion.
4.4 Conservative accelerated aging factors (AAFs) must be used if little is known about the sterile barrier system material being evaluated. More aggressive AAFs may be used with documented evidence to show a correlation between real time and accelerated aging.
4.5 When conducting accelerated aging programs for establishing expiry dating claims, it must be recognized that the data obtained from the study is based on conditions that simulate the effects of aging on the materials. The resulting creation of an expiration date or shelf life is based on the use of a conservative estimate of the aging factor (that is, Q10) and is tentative until the results of real time aging studies are completed on the sterile barrier system.
Note 1: Determining AAFs are beyond the scope of this guide.
accelerated aging; Arrhenius reaction rate;
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Revision with Title Change
Dec. 21, 2021