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Supercritical Fluids Division finds new medical ‘deep cleaning’ applications

news-releasesPierre Fabre Médicament: Supercritical Fluids Division
May 14th 2015

Gaillac, France: – The leading edge technology of supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) pioneered as a solvent has found an exciting new application in the deep cleaning of implants and medical devices.

Pierre Fabre Medicament’s Supercritical Fluids Division has announced that it is expanding its services to offer supercritical CO2 cleaning for medical applications.

Supercritical technology

Supercritical fluids are created when a chemical element is heated and compressed beyond its critical point. Industrially, carbon dioxide is the single most used element, reaching supercritical state at the relatively low temperature of 31°C and a pressure of 73 bar.

In its supercritical phase, CO2 is dense and combines liquid flow characteristics with viscosity and diffusion properties similar to those of a gas.

It can then be used as a non-polar solvent to replace or supplement less harmless chemicals.

The use of supercritical CO2 allows deep cleaning of materials to eliminate hydrophobic residues such as trace oils, waxes, monomers, or lubricants.

Deep cleaning

Supercritical CO2 can penetrate to the heart of porous solids, generating consistent cleaning in depth. Used under mild conditions (low temperature process), it does not cause any deterioration of mechanical properties of materials treated. Its bactericidal action also ensures a significant reduction in bioburden. Finally, as the CO2 becomes gaseous after depressurization, it requires no drying step.

This technology is particularly suitable for the removal of extractable or leachable compounds present in elastomers or cross-linked polymers, textile scouring, degreasing porous materials, with the advantage that it removes all extraction solvent residues.

Supercritical Fluids Division can offer CO2 cleaning to cGMP and highest ISO standards, using reactors of between two and 50 liters in its ISO 7 clean room, with controlled air.

After cleaning, components are sealed ready for assembly, final sterilization and packaging in customer installations.

About Pierre Fabre Group

Pierre Fabre Médicament is one of France’s largest independent pharmaceutical laboratories, focusing on ethical drugs, health products and dermocosmetic products.

Headquartered at Castres in the French Midi-Pyrenees Departement, Pierre Fabre has a presence in more than 130 countries worldwide and has a combined workforce of more than 10,000 people of whom more than 3.000 work outside France.

Founded in 1962, company’s business activity is focused on research, development, manufacturing and marketing of cosmetics, prescription medicines and family health products. Almost half of sales are represented by pharmaceuticals and phytotherapy, with cosmetics representing the remainder.

Pierre Fabre is especially known for its vinca alkaloid anticancer drug Navelbine (vinorelbine).

Pierre Fabre’s Supercritical Fluids division has developed specialized expertise in supercritical fluids technology for pharmaceutical applications, notably for Drug Delivery Systems (DDS).

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