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Pharma Newsletters >> Eurofins BioPharma Services Newsletter 22 - February 2019 >> Medical Device Breathing Pathways

ISO 18562 Standards reduce hazards for Medical Device Breathing Pathways

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by Andrew Blakinger, Manager, Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories

All medical devices must be assessed for biocompatibility. Medical devices containing breathing gas pathways (e.g. ventilators, breathing tubes, and anesthesia equipment) have traditionally been evaluated as external communicating devices according to the ISO 10993 series of international standards. Unfortunately, this approach leads to testing that provides questionable benefits and may result in hazards being missed. Therefore, a new set of standards – ISO 18562 – was released in March 2017. This four-part series is specifically geared towards the biocompatibility evaluation of breathing gas pathways in healthcare applications. ISO 18562-1 outlines the overall risk management process for the biocompatibility evaluation, while parts two through four each address a specific type of hazard.

To support its clients, Eurofins now offers the full spectrum of testing required by the ISO 18562 series of standards to assess these three hazards. The first hazard is the emission of particulate matter. To evaluate this hazard, a particle counter is used to detect any particles in gas passing through the device.

ISO 18562-3 addresses the second hazard of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the gas pathway. As air passes through the device, the VOCs are collected on a thermal desorption tube. These VOCs are then analysed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to identify and quantify them.

Leachables in condensate are the final hazard. During usage, water condenses inside the gas pathway. Compounds may then leach from the medical device into the condensate. Per ISO 18562-4, an aqueous extraction is first performed. Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), direct injection GC/MS, and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) are used to identify the leachables. Identification of these compounds is needed for a toxicologist to provide an accurate safety assessment. To identify the leachables, Eurofins’ scientists use the Eurofins Extractables Index, its proprietary database of over 1,500 compounds, in conjunction with the Wiley/NIST databases.

Complete understanding of the requirements of ISO-18562 is important in order to save valuable resources when working to get a medical device to market. The analytical scientists and toxicologists at Eurofins are prepared to help clients meet this new testing requirement.

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