Insulin binding to plastic bags: a methodologic study

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1983 Apr;40(4):575-9.


A radiotracer method to assess insulin binding to commercially available plastic peritoneal dialysis solution containers was developed. A peritoneal dialysis bag (bag 2) was emptied and attached to another full bag (bag 1) of the same kind. In the syringe-to-bag method, bag 1 was symmetrically injected through the bag wall with four syringes containing dialysis solution and radioactive insulin, with or without regular insulin. The radioactivity in each syringe was measured with a gamma counter before injection, and all of the samples were counted afterwards directly in the syringes. Using a bag-to-bag transfer method, bag 1 was agitated, eight samples were taken from different parts through the wall, and then the contents were transferred to bag 2. Bag 2 was then agitated and eight samples were taken and counted. In the bag-pieces method, pieces of bag wall were cut and the radioactivity on the walls was measured to determine the amount of binding. The syringe-to-bag method gave negative results, severely underestimating the amount of insulin binding. The bag-to-bag transfer method yielded positive results in all instances. Increasing the amounts of regular insulin had no demonstrable impact on percent of binding. When the bag-to-bag method was compared with the bag-pieces method, it gave only slightly higher values; however, the bag-to-bag method was considered more reliable because the counting can be controlled more effectively. A 15-minute delay in sampling was not found to influence insulin binding. A reliable method of assessing insulin binding must be based on the following two principles: (1) The transfer of samples to intermediate containers should be avoided, and (2) radiotracer concentrations in the samples should be similar.

MeSH terms

  • Dialysis
  • Drug Packaging*
  • Insulin*
  • Plastics
  • Time Factors


  • Insulin
  • Plastics