Effects of phosphate buffer in parenteral drugs on particle formation from glass vials

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2013;61(5):539-45. doi: 10.1248/cpb.c12-01025. Epub 2013 Feb 18.


The characteristics of inorganic particles generated in glass vials filled with phosphate buffer solutions were investigated. During storage, particles were visually detected in the phosphate buffer solution in particular glass vials which pass compendial tests of containers for injectable drugs. These particles were considered to be different from ordinal glass delamination, which has been reported in a number of papers because the particles were mainly composed of Al, P and O, but not Si. The formation of the particles accelerated at higher storage temperatures. Among the surface treatments tested for the glass vials, sulfur treatment showed a protective effect on the particle formation in the vials, whereas the SiO(2) coating did not have any protective effects. It was found that the elution ratio of Al and Si in the solution stored in the glass vials after the heating was similar to the ratio of Al and Si in borosilicate glass. However, the Al concentration decreased during storage (5°C, 6 months), and consequently, particle formation was observed in the solution. Adding citrate, which is a chelating agent for Al, effectively suppressed the particle formation in the heated solution. When 50 ppb and higher concentrations of Al ion were added to the phosphate buffer solution, the formation of white particles containing Al, P and O was detected. It is suggested that a phosphate buffer solution in a borosilicate glass vial has the ability to form particles due to interactions with the Al that is eluted from the glass during storage.

MeSH terms

  • Boron Compounds / chemistry
  • Buffers
  • Glass / chemistry*
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Particle Size
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*
  • Phosphates / chemistry*
  • Silicates / chemistry
  • Solutions
  • Surface Properties
  • Temperature


  • Boron Compounds
  • Buffers
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Phosphates
  • Silicates
  • Solutions