Nature of insulin binding to plastic bags

Am J Hosp Pharm. 1983 Apr;40(4):579-82.


The nature of insulin binding to plastic bags was evaluated to determine if it followed the physical laws of adsorption. To determine whether insulin is adsorbed on a liquid/air interface, the influence of foam in vials of radiolabeled insulin was evaluated. Using a bag-to-bag transfer method, the influence of regular insulin and detergent on radiotracer insulin binding was assessed. To evaluate the reversibility of the binding, bag pieces with bound radioactive insulin were washed with distilled water, detergent, and left to soak in detergent before measuring radioactivity. The radiolabeled insulin was adsorbed in the foam and then released into the bulk of the solution when the foam disappeared; hence, insulin can be entrapped in a liquid/air interface. The addition of regular insulin decreased the binding of the radiotracer insulin to the bag walls. The bound insulin could be removed by washing with water and detergent, but soaking in detergent did not remove a small residual quantity of the bound insulin, suggesting that minimal chemical binding or diffusion of the insulin into the plastic may occur. Insulin binding to plastic bags primarily follows the physical laws of adsorption.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Detergents
  • Drug Packaging*
  • Insulin* / administration & dosage
  • Plastics


  • Detergents
  • Insulin
  • Plastics