Scientists examining samples infront of a network pattern

Delamination studies Understand the risks of drug-container interaction and choose your glass containment solution with confidence


The challenge: drug-container compatibility

Selecting a containment solution that is compatible with a specific drug product throughout its shelf life is a major challenge. The continuous contact between a drug and the interior of the container can attack the surface structure. Glass delamination occurs when thin, flexible fragments – lamellae or flakes – become detached from the surface of the containment solution. When selecting a containment solution, it is important to identify the potential for delamination issues early on and provide the relevant documentation for regulatory submission.

SCHOTT Pharma Services can support you in the selection of a glass containment solution by tailored delamination screening studies that assess surface durability and attack mechanisms specific to your drug-container combination and storage parameters.

Glass delamination screening by SCHOTT Pharma

Our delamination screening studies follow the framework of USP <1660> and Ph.Eur 3.2.1. The design of each individual study typically includes variations in the storage conditions and a customized set of analytical techniques. Variations in storage conditions are used to assess potential worst-case situations in future use, as well as the identification of potential phenomena through accelerated aging.

Analysis typically begins with visual and optical inspection to understand the occurrence and shape of dissolved glass elements. Further imaging and surface analytical techniques are applied to investigate the morphology of the particle or the container surface that has been attacked.

In a final step, our experts provide guidance, helping you to interpret the results by categorizing the criticality of observations and pointing out early indicators of delamination.

SCHOTT Pharma glass delamination studies use a series of imaging and surface analytical techniques to support the selection of drug containment solutions.

Proven methods for glass delamination analysis

  • Glass delamination screening begins with visual inspection by eye and camera to distinguish flake-like particles. Combining the USP <790> procedure with in-house methods enables our experts to distinguish between particle types.
  • SEM cross-section analysis of the interior surface is used to determine the extent of attack on the glass surface and allows the different levels of glass corrosion to be classified. Typical features are roughening, formation of reaction zones, and delaminated areas.
  • ICP analysis of leached glass elements confirms the amount and ratio of glass attack to determine whether the mechanism is homogenous or non-homogenous dissolution.
Microscopic image of a glass surface taken during a  delamination study

How we help you reduce the risk of delamination

If the evidence indicates that container processing affects the potential for glass delamination, SCHOTT Pharma can help. We will run a series of tests in a controlled laboratory environment using permutations of washing, depyrogenation, filling, and terminal autoclavation parameters.

The resulting data enables you to explore the interrelation between delamination tendency and process parameters, and assess whether there is a process window that reduces delamination risk.

Icon Comparison of different suppliers

Comparison of different suppliers – Independent and objective analysis of the suitability of containment solutions from different suppliers.

Icon Sample preparation included

Sample preparation included – SCHOTT Pharma will take care of washing, depyrogenation, filling and sterilizing so you can start your study promptly.

Icon Work with the pioneers

Work with the pioneers – Building on our proven track record in glass, we have set the standard for reliable and reproducible delamination analysis.

Icon Unrivaled analytical opportunities

Unrivaled analytical opportunities – Including cross-section analysis of glass samples using focused ion beam (FIB) technology.

Best practices for glass delamination

Our “Best Practices for Glass Delamination Testing Studies” whitepaper describes how the design of studies has improved over the past decade.

SCHOTT Pharma’s “Best Practices for Glass Delamination Testing Studies” whitepaper

Delamination studies: How to proceed

SCHOTT Pharma Services’s team of specialists offers support and advice about your pharmaceutical packaging challenge. We provide guidance and a complete process that will take you from initial request to effective solution.

Icon Get in touch

1. Get in touch

Tell us about your current needs using the contact form below or phone us directly (see number in contact information below).

Icon Receive a study proposal

2. Receive a study proposal

Based on your information, our scientific experts will advise you and create a customized study proposal that conforms to the latest regulatory guidelines.

Icon Quotation and sample requirements

3. Quotation and sample requirements

Based on your feedback, we will provide a quotation comprising a detailed study protocol and instructions for sample selection, packaging, and submission.

Icon Sample submission

4. Sample submission

You then send the samples to our laboratories with a completed submission form, proforma invoice, and material safety data sheet.

Get in touch

Dr. Matthias Bicker

Dr. Matthias Bicker

Scientific Advisor Pharma Services

* Field is required

SCHOTT Pharma will use your data only for reacting to your inquiry. Find more information about processing your personal data in SCHOTT Pharma’s data privacy policy


I agree that SCHOTT Pharma AG & Co. KGaA may send me e-mails with information on products and services of SCHOTT Pharma. My data will not be passed on to third parties. After registration, I can revoke my consent at any time at the SCHOTT Subscription Center following the link in each email footer.