The Need for Diagnostics Packaging Innovation

Demand for diagnostics has been soaring—particularly in light of COVID-19. How are diagnostics and packaging suppliers meeting technical challenges? Watch this Take Five video to find out.


Quick hits:

  • Now accustomed to rapid testing, consumer expectations are shifting toward home testing and faster results for a variety of health concerns.
  • Lidding sealed over reagent wells must withstand strong reagents that can interact, or even attack, sealants used with traditional push-through foil options.
  • At PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PAXXUS displayed its AccuPierce pierceable foil lidding, an aluminum foil paired with the chemically resistant, high-barrier Exponent™ sealant for protecting reagents in sensitive testing environments.

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   Read the transcript below:

Keren Sookne: Hi, I'm Keren Sookne for Take Five Video with Healthcare Packaging. . Today, I'm going to highlight a topic that came up at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, the need for innovation and diagnostics packaging. I talked with Sean Riley about industry trends at the daily download live at the show. Here's a clip.

Sean Riley: What have you seen out there that you would like to share with the folks?

Keren Sookne: Well, one thing, I didn't get a chance on Monday, at the daily download, to talk anything about COVID-19 and obviously, in the Healthcare Packaging EXPO, so much of the machinery there has been supporting those efforts for the last 16 or 12 months.

There's something cool that I wanted to talk about, which is a new pierceable foil lidding for diagnostics. This is AccuPierce from PAXXUS. Obviously, COVID is an absolute tragedy. One of the byproducts of it is just the boom in diagnostics needs. So, this is not just a matter of the sheer volume of people that need diagnostics, but at this point we've seen a shift in consumer expectations that now they see that they can get diagnostics. They're used to having to go to the clinic and do everything and the doctors and sometimes wait weeks and wait a long time.

Now people have become accustomed to getting results in an hour sometimes. Sometimes 15 minutes. These rapid tests, and once you let that out of the bag for a consumer, they don't move backwards, they don't wait longer. There are hundreds of companies now who are trying to develop diagnostics, not just for COVID-19, but for a range of disease states. What that means is that we're needing a lot of innovation in diagnostics.

:So something that's cool about AccuPierce, is basically, it allows for a clean quick puncture, in these very sensitive testing environments. It's usually a probe that's going in, that needs to be fast, repeatable. But the struggle there is that while it needs to be puncturable easily, you have to protect... The packaging has to withstand these really strong reagents. In some cases they can interact with oil lidding, sometimes they can really actually attack the lidding. So they really have to be this very sturdy, yet pierceable material.

=So if you're not familiar in these diagnostics, reagents are sitting in lids and you can kind of liken it to the way that an ice cube maker looks, it's these little wells, it's shrunken down and the foil sits on top of that. So you're having these very narrow ceiling areas. They're very small. It's a lot of factors at once competing.

The lidding consists of this really controlled aluminum foil that is paired with PRAXXUS's chemically resistant, high barrier exponent sealant. So they made it in a way that it's flexible, so it's heat sealable to a variety of common reagent materials. That's polypropylene, polyethylene and COC. I think that's just a really important area that sometimes people overlook. 

Sean Riley: Absolutely.

Keren Sookne: This innovation to really push diagnostics forward, because think of all the things that we couldn't do in our society, if we didn't have those answers in front of us. So much commerce, so much travel, so much everything would be stopped, without knowing, are you positive for this disease state or are you not? Yeah, I thought that was a really interesting.

Sean Riley: I mean, it's fascinating. It's amazing. It's something that, as you're saying it, you're thinking of things in your head that, that could be applied to for other, whether it's a lower level of sickness, a cold or the flu or something like that, where you don't have to go to a doctor or don't have to go get the test because you can take it yourself. That would be a really unique and kind of cool applications to come out of this.

Keren Sookne: Definitely.

Sean Riley: Very interesting.

Keren Sookne: And there you have it. That's all for today. For more videos from PACK EXPO Las Vegas, visit packexpoxpress.com.

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