(19)
(11)EP 3 782 809 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
27.07.2022 Bulletin 2022/30

(21)Application number: 20191912.3

(22)Date of filing:  20.08.2020
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B32B 3/26(2006.01)
B32B 7/14(2006.01)
B32B 27/12(2006.01)
B32B 27/18(2006.01)
B32B 5/02(2006.01)
B32B 27/08(2006.01)
B32B 27/16(2006.01)
B32B 27/32(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
B32B 5/022; B32B 27/08; B32B 27/12; B32B 27/16; B32B 27/18; B32B 27/32; B32B 2262/0253; B32B 2307/31; B32B 2307/7242; B32B 2439/80; B32B 3/266; B32B 2250/02; B32B 2250/03; B32B 7/14; B32B 2307/724

(54)

FILM AND PACKAGING FOR GAS OR VAPOR DECONTAMINABLE PACKAGING APPLICATIONS AND METHOD FOR CREATING A DECONTAMINATED PACKAGING USING THE SAME

FOLIE UND VERPACKUNG FÜR GAS- ODER DAMPFDEKONTAMINIERBARE VERPACKUNGSANWENDUNGEN UND VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG EINER DEKONTAMINIERTEN VERPACKUNG DAMIT

FILM ET EMBALLAGE POUR APPLICATIONS D'EMBALLAGE DÉCONTAMINABLE DE GAZ OU DE VAPEUR ET PROCÉDÉ DE CRÉATION D'UN EMBALLAGE DÉCONTAMINÉ LES UTILISANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 20.08.2019 EP 19192633

(43)Date of publication of application:
24.02.2021 Bulletin 2021/08

(73)Proprietor: SCHOTT AG
55122 Mainz (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • Wolf, Patrick
    9000 St. Gallen (CH)
  • Deutschle, Gregor Fritz
    65510 Idstein (DE)
  • Rupertus, Volker
    55232 Alzey (DE)

(74)Representative: Fuchs Patentanwälte Partnerschaft mbB 
Westhafenplatz 1
60327 Frankfurt am Main
60327 Frankfurt am Main (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 4 550 546
US-A1- 2003 165 663
US-A1- 2001 023 001
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to films and a packaging for gas or vapor decontaminable packaging applications and a method for creating a decontaminated packaging using the same. These films are particularly useful for sterile storage and transport of objects for medical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic uses, in particular for sterile pharmaceutical primary packaging means, like vials, ampules, syringes, or cartridges.

    Prior art



    [0002] When creating a packaging for sterile storage and transport of objects it is an essential requirement that the packaging is sterilizable and able to maintain the sterile atmosphere within the packaging. Particularly for sterile pharmaceutical primary packaging means, like vials, ampules, syringes, or cartridges, a typical packaging for the transport from a manufacturer of pharmaceutical primary packaging means to a pharmaceutical company using the same comprises a tub or tray holding a multitude of the primary packaging means which is sealed with a non-woven and further enclosed in one or two bags. The non-woven is usually a flash spun plexifilamentary film-fibril structure made of high density polyethylene, which is known under the trademark Tyvek® of the company DuPont, or a spunbonded very fine filaments non-woven. These selectively permeable non-wovens allow for the sterilization by means of gas or vapor, like ethylene oxide, steam, or hydrogen peroxide, after closing the packaging. Hence, also at least one wall of the outer enclosing bags comprises or consists of such a non-woven. While being permeable for the sterilizing gas or vapor, the selectively permeable non-woven is essentially impermeable for microbes and thus forms a microbial barrier. The microbes get stuck in the non-woven filament structure. Depending on the type and density of the non-woven a different sterility assurance level can be achieved, but there is always some amount of microbes getting through. Hence, these non-wovens should be called only essentially impermeable for microbes.

    [0003] At the pharmaceutical company, the sterile primary packaging means are unpacked and filled under controlled, sterile conditions. This involves so-called disinfection and/or decontamination steps at the transition from higher to lower classified clean room classes. These can, for example, be a biological decontamination using e-beam, hydrogen peroxide or wiping with an alcohol solution. Before the tub or tray is transferred to the aseptic area where the Tyvek® or other non-woven sealing film is removed and the active pharmaceutical ingredient is filled into the primary packaging means, a further decontamination step takes place. This is necessary because the sterility of the outside of the tub or tray cannot be guaranteed.

    [0004] In the context of the present application, decontamination is defined as an umbrella term for reducing the amount of microbes and biological agents, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, prions, unicellular eukaryotic organisms, etc. The special terms disinfection and sterilization differ in the amount of reduction of these. While disinfection only reduces the amount of said contaminants, sterilization effectively kills, deactivates, or eliminates all forms of life and other biological agents which are present, i.e. a reduction of 100 %. Hence, disinfection is less effective than sterilization. The required level of reduction is determined by the intended application.

    [0005] While the non-woven seal on the tub or tray is validated as a sterile barrier, at present it is not possible to prove integrity of the packaging without destroying it. There is a permanent gas exchange between the environmental atmosphere and the atmosphere within the bags through the porous non-woven parts of the packaging.

    [0006] Further, when using non-woven seal on trays or tubs, there is a risk of residual amounts of hydrogen peroxide within the trays or tubs, if a hydrogen peroxide treatment is executed for decontamination. This is particularly dangerous in the case of filling the medical primary packing means with sensitive biological medicaments which tolerate only very low trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide. For avoiding residues of hydrogen peroxide, today there still does not exist a satisfactory solution. Sometimes a gas-impermeable film is sealed onto the non-woven. However, this bears the risk of enclosing non-sterile surfaces between the non-woven and the gas-impermeable film and of a non-complete sealing. Moreover, these additional steps have to be carried out manually and, hence, are impeding a fully automatic handling of the packaging means while introducing them in the clean room and bear a further risk of contamination.

    [0007] US2001023001 discloses a flexible steam-sterilisable pouch package comprising an impermeable perforated polyolefin plastic web bonded by a heat seal line to a non-woven layer.

    Object of the invention



    [0008] The object of the present invention has been to provide a packaging which overcomes these drawbacks of the prior art. In particular, it has been one object to provide a packaging, which allows for a non-destructive integrity check. A further object has been to provide a packaging, which is able to avoid hydrogen peroxide contamination of the packaged goods when a hydrogen peroxide decontamination step is executed.

    Description of the invention



    [0009] In an embodiment, the invention relates to a film for gas or vapor sterilizable packaging applications consisting of or comprising at least in sequence from outside to inside of the packaging
    1. a) a first layer of film being essentially impermeable for the sterilizing gas or vapor, having a first needling, perforation and/or cut pattern,
    2. b) an adhesive layer which can be activated by energy transmission, covering the entire surface of a layer underneath or being arranged in patterns
    3. c) a layer of a selectively permeable nonwoven being essentially impermeable for microorganisms.


    [0010] In this application, a "selectively permeable non-woven" is to be understood as being permeable for gases or vapors but being essentially impermeable for microbes and microorganisms and thus forming a microbial barrier. The term "essentially impermeable for microbes" within this context refers to a Microbial Barrier measured according to ASTM F1608-16 of 2-6 Log Reduction Value (LRV).

    [0011] A typical packaging application for which the films according to the invention are intended to be used comprises as goods to be packaged sterile pharmaceutical primary packaging means, like vials, ampules, syringes, or cartridges. These primary packaging means are usually placed in a tray or a tub, which are then sealed with a lidding film according to the invention. Thereafter, the sealed tub or tray is further enclosed in one or two bags.

    [0012] Another application of the film according to the invention is for these further outer bags which comprise at least in part a film according to the invention. It is also possible to combine these two applications and use a film according to the invention as a lidding film for the trays or tubs as well as the surrounding bags.

    [0013] It has been found that, instead of sealing a gas-impermeable film onto the non-woven areas of the packaging for hermetically closing the packaging after decontamination, a sealing by means of an adhesive, which can be activated by energy transmission is far more effective than sealing additional films onto these areas since it can be done right after decontamination without further manual handling. In particular, there is no risk of entrapping contaminated surfaces within the packaging. The closed packaging can be decontaminated as usual through the non-woven areas. Once the decontamination is completed, the adhesive is activated by energy transmission and closes the needling, perforation and/or cut pattern of the film and/or the pores of the non-woven. After this hermetic sealing it is possible to execute a decontamination step of the tray or tub with hydrogen peroxide during unwrapping of the package without contamination of the packaged goods.

    [0014] If the film according to the invention is used as a component of the enclosing bags, it is possible to check the integrity of the packaging in a secure and non-destructive way.

    [0015] The adhesive may be chosen such that it is in its non-activated state permeable for the decontaminating gas or vapor and gets impermeable after activation. Then it can be applied covering the whole area of the non-woven and/or of the film layer. This will, however, decrease the permeability of the non-woven and/or of the film layer and consequently increase the time required for exposure to the decontaminating atmosphere. For this reason it is more preferred to apply the adhesive not on the whole area but only in patterns. In either case, the amount of adhesive is to be chosen such that it is enough to reliably seal the needling, perforation and/or cut pattern of the film and/or the porosity of the non-woven layer. If it is applied in patterns, its type and flow properties further have to be chosen such that it can spread over the whole surface during activation.

    [0016] Further aspects concern the binding between the film and the non-woven layer. For fixating the two layers of the non-woven and the film onto each other there are two options. Either on separate areas between the layers a standard lamination adhesive is applied, for example in a gridlike shape or small patches, to achieve the binding while the rest of the surface is treated with the activatable adhesive or only an activatable adhesive is used and during production of the layer composite predefined areas are selectively activated. The latter may for example be done by means of masks, screens, or tools.

    [0017] In this embodiment with a layer sequence a) - b) - c), the permeability of the packaging as a whole for the sterilizing gas or vapor is achieved by apertures in the film that is otherwise impermeable for the sterilizing gas or vapor. Before activation of the adhesive, the gas or vapor can enter the packaging through these apertures and the porous non-woven. After activation of the adhesive, the film is bonded to the non-woven layer and the apertures and pores are sealed. This essentially corresponds to the presently applied procedure of manually sealing an additional film layer to the outside of the non-woven layer or areas of the packaging. However, there is a minimized risk of entrapping contaminations between the film and the non-woven due to the fact that these two layers are already combined before decontamination. Moreover, activation of the adhesive can be done directly within the decontamination chamber.

    [0018] An alternative embodiment is also contemplated having a layer sequence of b) - a) - c), i.e. having the adhesive positioned on the outside of the packaging. However, this alternative is less preferable since the adhesive will not be able to further bond the film layer to the non-woven layer thereby closing the pathways for the sterilizing gas within both permeable layers. And with the adhesive on the outside it has to be ascertained that once activated nothing touches the outside of the packaging until the adhesive is cured.

    [0019] In a further embodiment, the film further comprises
    d) a second layer of film being essentially impermeable for the decontaminating gas or vapor, having a second needling, perforation and/or cut pattern being incongruent with the first pattern, and being arranged between adhesive layer b) and layer of selectively permeable non-woven c).

    [0020] In this preferred embodiment with a layer sequence a) - b) - d) - c), the hermetic sealing of the structure is effected by activation of the adhesive between the two outer film layers. Regarding the choice of the adhesive and the surface covered by it the same considerations as for the embodiment described above apply. It is important that the first and second needling, perforation and/or cut patterns are incongruent. This can either be achieved by using two different patterns or by using the same pattern but shifting the position. Preferably, there are no intersecting patterns between the two layers in order to avoid a direct linear path from outside to inside of the film. Patterns which have proven themselves to be useful for this purpose are, for example, labyrinth-like patterns, comb-like patterns, or sufficiently spaced apart stripe patterns.

    [0021] Regarding the needling, perforation and/or cut patterns used in the two film layers of this embodiment there exist various options for arranging them. They may be arranged over the whole surface of the films in an intermeshing style when viewed through the combined films, like described above. This has the advantage of very short paths to travel for the decontaminating gas or vapors between the two film layers and, hence, an increased breathability of the packaging. However, the mechanical strength of the film layers decreases with the density of the patterns. For this variant it is also possible to cover only limited areas of the films creating a window-like surface which allows the decontaminating gas and vapors to enter the package only in these predefined areas.

    [0022] As an alternative, the needling, perforation and/or cut patterns may be arranged in separate areas of the combined film layers. For example, the patterns may be arranged in the first film to cover only an area on the left side of the package and in the second film to cover only an area on the right side of the package while the middle of the package contains no patterns at all.

    [0023] This embodiment unites different advantages over the other embodiment. Since hermetic sealing of the structure is effected between the two films which are impermeable for the decontaminating gas or vapor, the reliability and durability of the sealing is better than on the porous non-woven. Further, the surfaces of the films are smoother than the rough non-woven surface, particularly when using a cut pattern. As a consequence it is easier to achieve a hermetic sealing. And finally, the gas exchange rate will be better because the porosity of the non-woven will not need to be decreased as much as in the other embodiments by the application of the adhesive. It will suffice to apply just enough of a standard lamination adhesive to securely fix the layers together, whereas in the other embodiments the amount of adhesive has to be sufficient for covering the whole surface in order to effect sealing.

    [0024] In variants of this embodiment the first layer of film a) and the second layer of film d) form a laminated structure or are joined to each other only at parts of their surface, particularly at their peripheral surface areas. While the films can be fixed on each other like in a laminated film wherein the gas and vapor permeability is either achieved by a permeable adhesive which can be activated or by a standard lamination adhesive which does only partially cover the surface, it is also possible to join the layers only at parts of their surface leaving the majority of the layers surfaces non-bonded. The latter is preferably done by sealing the film layers together around the edges like in a pouch.

    [0025] Activation of the adhesive layer by energy transmission can be effected through heat, UV irradiation, IR irradiation, induction, and/or microwave irradiation. The type of energy transmission is selected to fit the type of adhesive. The adhesives may, for example, be a hot melt adhesive or a reactive system, like polyurethane or poly(meth)acrylate adhesives. Reactive systems usually contain an additive, such as a photoinitiator or a radical initiator, and can thus be activated by UV or IR radiation or heat. A system which can be activated by induction typically contains a nano-scaled ferromagnetic additive. Heat sealable adhesives can, for example, be based on ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers or ionomers.

    [0026] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the adhesive is a hot melt heat sealable adhesive system containing additives which are responsive to the energy transmission.

    [0027] In an embodiment, the selectively permeable nonwoven is a flash spun plexifilamentary film-fibril structure or a spunbonded very fine filaments nonwoven. Preferably, the diameter of the very fine filaments is in either case in the range of 0.5 - 10 µm. One example of such a non-woven material is Tyvek® of the company DuPont. A particularly suitable type for this application is Tyvek® 1073B.

    [0028] Preferably, the selectively permeable nonwoven is made of high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), or polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

    [0029] In some embodiments, the adhesive may be arranged in a positive or negative dot pattern, dash pattern and/or line pattern which is incongruent with the first and second needling, perforation and/or cut pattern. Positive and negative pattern is to be understood as an adhesive pattern consisting of said dots, dashes and/or lines (positive pattern) or consisting of a full area adhesive layer with the dots, dashes and/or lines left uncovered (negative pattern), respectively. This allows for a tailoring of the relation of the adhesion and the permeation structure closing capabilities to the permeability of the non-woven and/or film layers before activation of the adhesive.

    [0030] The patterns can be created by different methods. Preferably, they are created by a printing technology, such as (roto)gravure printing, offset printing, or screen printing. For line patterns also coating technologies may be applied, such as Mayer rod coating or reverse roll coating.

    [0031] Preferably, the film of the first and/or second layer comprises or is made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide 6, polyethylene terephthalate or their blends and/or copolymers. Especially the polyamide 6 and polyethylene terephthalate films further improve the durability of the packaging and provide an oxygen barrier. In cases where transparency of the packaging is not required the film may also consist of an aluminum composite film in order to provide an excellent oxygen barrier.

    [0032] In embodiments, the first and/or second needling, perforation and/or cut pattern is selected from labyrinth-like patterns, comb-like patterns, and stripe patterns. These patterns can very effectively be arranged without intersecting apertures in the two layers and, when arranged with a suitable offset or a negative layout, possess a good gas and vapor permeability and are very reliably hermetically sealable.

    [0033] The invention further relates to a packaging for decontaminated packaging of objects for medical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic uses comprising at least in part a film according to the invention. Preferably, these objects are sterile pharmaceutical primary packaging means, like vials, ampules, syringes, or cartridges.

    [0034] In embodiments, the packaging comprises a tub, optionally comprising a nest, or a tray, which are sealed with a film comprising at least in part a film according to the invention. Preferably the sealed tub or tray is further packaged in at least one bag or pouch comprising at least in part a film according to the invention.

    [0035] In other embodiments, the packaging comprises a tub, optionally comprising a nest, or a tray, which is enclosed by at least one bag or pouch comprising at least in part a film according to the invention.

    [0036] The packaging according to the invention does not exclusively have to be made of the films according to the invention. Like in prior art, where the bags, for example, are made of a layer of a non-woven on one side and a layer of impermeable film on the other side, the packaging according to the invention may use the film according to the invention as a replacement for the non-woven layer on one side while using the usual film layer on the other side. Moreover, window-like structures known in prior art having only a limited permeable area may also be replicated with a film according to the invention. The film according to the invention simply replaces the pure non-woven layers in order to provide the package with the ability to be hermetically sealed after decontamination.

    [0037] The invention further relates to a method for creating a decontaminated packaging according to the invention comprising the steps of
    1. a) providing a film according to the invention,
    2. b) forming a packaging comprising the film and containing the objects for medical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic uses,
    3. c) closing the packaging by means of sealing and/or adhesive,
    4. d) exposing the closed packaging to an atmosphere containing a decontaminating gas and/or vapor, optionally followed by purging the decontaminated packaging with a gas in order to remove the decontaminating gas and/or vapor,
    5. e) hermetically sealing the packaging by activating the adhesive layer in the film by means of energy transmission.


    [0038] The method according to the invention differs from the prior art in two essential points. Instead of the pure non-woven layers used in the prior art, the present invention uses the film according to the invention for the preparation of the packaging. This packaging is then decontaminated as usual in a gas or steam chamber, optionally followed by a purging with a gas for removal of the decontaminating medium. For example, when the decontamination uses ethylene oxide, the toxic ethylene oxide usually is purged with nitrogen. Hence, the equipment and work flows may remain unchanged up to the point when decontamination has been finished. Additional purging cycles might be necessary to reduce ethylene oxide and ethylene chlorohydrin residuals. Once decontaminated the method according to the invention adds the step of hermetically sealing the packaging by activating the adhesive layer.

    [0039] As opposed to the prior art, the present invention produces a packaging which is hermetically sealed and consequently has no gas exchange with the environment. This allows for a non-destructive integrity check of the packaging by means of, for example, laser gas analysis techniques like TDLAS (Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy). Without opening the package TDLAS is able to detect gas components like oxygen, which will enter the packaging if there is a puncture, or to measure the composition of the gas inside the package for differences to a defined atmosphere used before closing it. Even if there is some degree of diffusion of, for example, O2 through the bag foil such as LDPE/PET or similar, the flux over time can be calculated based on material properties. Any difference would be visible as a significantly higher concentration of oxygen compared to the intrinsic diffusion. Thus, each packaging can be checked for integrity and indirectly sterility before it is subsequently introduced into the antiseptic areas.

    [0040] Moreover, the hermetically sealed packaging prevents hydrogen peroxide from entering into the packaging and contaminating the packaged goods during a hydrogen peroxide decontamination step. Hence, there is no risk of deterioration of, for example, a biological medicament which is filled into vials or syringes that have been transported within the packaging.

    [0041] In an embodiment, the method further comprises between steps d) and e) the step of
    f) exposing the decontaminated packaging to an atmosphere containing a protective gas.

    [0042] This further step aids in two ways. Apart from creating a protective atmosphere within the packaging, this also simplifies the detection of the integrity of the packaging. By purging the packaging and creating a well-defined atmosphere within the packaging, the integrity check can be reduced to a measurement of the gas composition or even a single component of the gas within the packaging. If there is a puncture in the packaging, the gas composition will change which can be detected with great accuracy. For example, the presence of oxygen can be detected very well by means of TDLAS. Hence, a check for the presence of oxygen will reveal a lost integrity of the packaging without having to open it. The protective gas is preferably chosen from nitrogen and argon, which can be used alone or as a predefined mixture.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0043] 

    Figure 1 is a cut-through image of an embodiment with two film layers before activation of the adhesive layer.

    Figure 2 is a cut-through image of the embodiment of Figure 1 after activation of the adhesive layer.


    Examples



    [0044] With the examples of different embodiments of the film according to the invention presented hereafter, a typical packaging for vials has been prepared. The vials have been put in a tub with a nest which has been sealed with a respective film of the examples. Thereafter, the sealed tub has consecutively further been wrapped in two identical bags, which have been sealed, each consisting of a respective film of the examples on one side and a high density polyethylene film on the other side. The bagged tubs have been sterilized by exposure to ethylene oxide in a vacuum chamber for 6 hours at a temperature of 45-60 °C. After sterilization the chamber has been purged with nitrogen and as the final step the packages have been exposed to an atmosphere of a mixture of nitrogen and argon. Thereafter the adhesive has been activated in order to hermetically seal the sterilized packages. The integrity check has been performed by means of a measurement of the oxygen content within the packages with TDLAS.

    Example 1



    [0045] A spunbonded very fine filaments non-woven layer of polypropylene has been laminated to a polypropylene film. The polypropylene film has been provided with apertures by means of needling. By offset printing, first a line pattern of an adhesive in the form of a hot melt methacrylate resin has been applied to the film and thereafter a coarse rectangular grid of a polyurethane laminating adhesive containing a UV photoinitiator. The two layers have then been laminated under UV irradiation. For the activation of the adhesive, the packaging has been heated by irradiation with an IR lamp in order to melt the hot melt adhesive.

    Example 2



    [0046] The structure of example 2 is shown in Fig. 1 in its non-activated condition. The innermost layer is the non-woven (1) layer. By means of a standard laminating adhesive (not shown in the drawing) it is bonded to the second layer, the second layer of film (4) which is impermeable for sterilizing gases or vapors. The third layer is the activatable adhesive (2) layer. And the outermost layer is the first layer of film (3) which is also impermeable for sterilizing gases or vapors.

    [0047] For the preparation of the film, the first and second layer of film (3, 4) have been provided with a comb-like pattern of cuts indicated as the apertures (5) in Fig. 1. In the finished film these patterns of the two layers are arranged such that the combs are intermeshing. Thus, there is no direct path for the sterilizing agent for entering the packaging. Instead the agent will have to follow a double bent path as shown in Fig. 1. And the apertures (5) are always facing a non-cut film area which will be able to close the apertures (5) once the activatable adhesive (2) has been activated which will result in a hermetic sealing of the packaging. This situation after activation of the adhesive is shown in Fig. 2.

    [0048] By gravure printing, an ethylene-vinylacetate based hot melt adhesive is applied in a coarse dot pattern on the first surface of the first layer of film (3) which is made of high density polyethylene. A non-woven layer of Tyvek® 1073B has then been bonded to the first layer of film (3) using heat in a standard laminating procedure. Thereafter, the second surface of the first layer of film (3) has been gravure printed in a line pattern oriented perpendicular to the comb-like cut patterns with an activatable adhesive (2) in the form of a reactive polyurethane resin containing a UV photoinitiator. Using a solvent based standard laminating adhesive, the second layer of film (4), which is also made of high density polyethylene, has been gravure printed with a grid pattern, which is sized such that it matches the comb-like cut patterns and surrounds them. Thereafter, the second layer of film (4) is laminated onto the first layer of film (3) using a standard wet laminating procedure.

    [0049] For the activation of the adhesive, the packaging consequently has been irradiated with a UV lamp.

    [0050] Alternatively, using the same structure, the film can also be made with a spunbonded very fine filaments non-woven layer of polypropylene and two polypropylene film layers.

    Reference number list



    [0051] 
    1
    non-woven
    2
    activatable adhesive
    3
    first layer of film
    4
    second layer of film
    5
    aperture



    Claims

    1. Film for gas or vapor decontaminable packaging applications consisting of or comprising at least in sequence from outside to inside of the packaging

    a) a first layer of film (3) being essentially impermeable for the decontaminating gas or vapor, having a first needling, perforation and/or cut pattern,

    b) an adhesive (2) layer which can be activated by energy transmission, covering the entire surface of a layer underneath or being arranged in patterns,

    c) a layer of a selectively permeable non-woven (1) being essentially impermeable for microorganisms defined as a microbial barrier measured according to ASTM F1608-16 of 2-6 Log Reduction Value (LRV)


     
    2. Film according to claim 1 further comprising
    d) a second layer of film (4) being essentially impermeable for the decontaminating gas or vapor, having a second needling, perforation and/or cut pattern being incongruent with the first pattern, and being arranged between adhesive (2) layer b) and layer of selectively permeable non-woven (1) c).
     
    3. Film according to claim 2, wherein layers a) and d) form a laminated structure or are joined to each other only at parts of their surface, particularly at their peripheral surface areas.
     
    4. Film according to one of the preceding claims, wherein activation of the adhesive (2) layer by energy transmission can be effected through heat, UV irradiation, IR irradiation, induction, and/or microwave irradiation.
     
    5. Film according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the adhesive (2) is a hot melt heat sealable adhesive system containing additives which are responsive to the energy transmission.
     
    6. Film according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the selectively permeable non-woven (1) is a flash spun plexifilamentary film-fibril structure or a spunbonded very fine filaments non-woven.
     
    7. Film according to one of the preceding claims wherein the selectively permeable non-woven (1) is made of high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), or polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
     
    8. Film according to one of the preceding claims wherein the adhesive (2) is arranged in a positive or negative dot pattern, dash pattern and/or line pattern which is incongruent with the needling, perforation and/or cut pattern of the first layer of film (3) and/or second layer of film (4).
     
    9. Film according to one of the preceding claims wherein the film of the first and/or second layer (3, 4) comprises or is made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide 6, polyethylene terephthalate or their blends and/or copolymers.
     
    10. Film according to one of the preceding claims wherein the first and/or second needling, perforation and/or cut pattern is selected from labyrinth-like patterns, comb-like patterns, and stripe patterns.
     
    11. Packaging for decontaminated packaging of objects for medical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic uses comprising at least in part a film according to one of claims 1 to 10.
     
    12. Packaging according to claim 11 comprising a tub, optionally comprising a nest, or a tray, which are sealed with a film comprising at least in part a film according to one of claims 1 to 10.
     
    13. Packaging according to claim 12, wherein the sealed tub or tray is further enclosed by at least one bag or pouch comprising at least in part a film according to one of claims 1 to 10.
     
    14. Packaging according to claim 11 comprising a tub, optionally comprising a nest, or a tray, which is enclosed by at least one bag or pouch comprising at least in part a film according to one of claims 1 to 10.
     
    15. Method for creating a decontaminated packaging according to one of claims 11 to 13 comprising the steps of

    a) providing a film according to one of claims 1 to 10,

    b) forming a packaging comprising the film and containing the objects for medical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic uses,

    c) closing the packaging by means of sealing and/or adhesive,

    d) exposing the closed packaging to an atmosphere containing a decontaminating gas and/or vapor, optionally followed by purging the decontaminated packaging with a gas in order to remove the decontaminating gas and/or vapor,

    e) hermetically sealing the packaging by activating the adhesive layer in the film by means of energy transmission.


     
    16. Method according to claim 15, further comprising between steps d) and e) the step of
    f) exposing the decontaminated packaging to an atmosphere containing a protective gas.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Folie für gas- oder dampfdekontaminierbare Verpackungsanwendungen, bestehend aus oder zumindest umfassend, in der Folge von der Außenseite der Verpackung zu ihrer Innenseite:

    a) eine erste Folienschicht (3), die für das dekontaminierende Gas oder den dekontaminierenden Dampf im Wesentlichen undurchlässig ist und ein erstes Nadel-, Perforations- und/oder Schnittmuster aufweist;

    b) eine Klebstoffschicht (2), die durch Energieübertragung aktivierbar ist und die gesamte Oberfläche einer darunter liegenden Schicht bedeckt oder in Mustern angeordnet ist;

    c) eine Schicht aus einem selektiv durchlässigen Vliesstoff (1), der im Wesentlichen undurchlässig ist für Mikroorganismen, definiert als eine mikrobielle Barriere gemessen nach ASTM F1608-16 bei 2-6 Log-Reduktionswert (LRV).


     
    2. Folie nach Anspruch 1, ferner mit:
    d) einer zweiten Folienschicht (4), die für das dekontaminierende Gas oder den dekontaminierenden Dampf im Wesentlichen undurchlässig ist, ein zweites Nadel-, Perforations- und/oder Schnittmuster aufweist, das nicht mit dem ersten Muster deckungsgleich ist, und zwischen der Klebstoffschicht (2) b) und der Schicht aus dem selektiv durchlässigem Vliesstoff (1) c) angeordnet ist.
     
    3. Folie nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Schichten a) und d) eine laminierte Struktur bilden oder nur an Teilen ihrer Oberfläche, insbesondere an ihren Umfangsflächenbereichen, miteinander verbunden sind.
     
    4. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Aktivieren der Klebstoffschicht (2) durch Energieübertragung mittels Wärme, UV-Bestrahlung, IR-Bestrahlung, Induktion und/oder Mikrowellenbestrahlung erfolgen kann.
     
    5. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Klebstoff (2) ein heißsiegelfähiges Hotmelt-Klebstoffsystem ist, das Additive enthält, die auf die Energieübertragung ansprechen.
     
    6. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der selektiv durchlässige Vliesstoff (1) eine plexifilamentäre folienfibrillierte Flashspun-Struktur oder ein sehr feiner Spunbond-Filament-Vliesstoff ist.
     
    7. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der selektiv durchlässige Vliesstoff (1) aus Polyethylen hoher Dichte (HDPE), Polypropylen (PP) oder Polyethylenterephthalat (PET) hergestellt ist.
     
    8. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Klebstoff (2) in einem positiven oder negativen Punkt-, Strich- und/oder Linienmuster angeordnet ist, das mit dem Nadel-, Perforations- und/oder Schnittmuster der ersten Folienschicht (3) und/oder der zweiten Folienschicht (4) nicht deckungsgleich ist.
     
    9. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Folie der ersten und/oder zweiten Schicht (3, 4) Polyethylen, Polypropylen, Polyamid 6, Polyethylenterephthalat oder deren Mischungen und/oder Copolymere aufweist oder daraus hergestellt ist.
     
    10. Folie nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das erste und/oder zweite Nadelungs-, Perforations- und/oder Schnittmuster aus labyrinthartigen Mustern, kammartigen Mustern und Streifenmustern ausgewählt ist.
     
    11. Verpackung zum dekontaminierten Verpacken von Gegenständen für medizinische, pharmazeutische oder kosmetische Zwecke, die zumindest teilweise eine Folie nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 aufweist.
     
    12. Verpackung nach Anspruch 11, mit einer Wanne, die optional einen Einsatz aufweist, oder einem Tablett, die mit einer Folie versiegelt sind, die zumindest teilweise eine Folie nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 aufweist.
     
    13. Verpackung nach Anspruch 12, wobei die versiegelte Wanne oder das versiegelte Tablett ferner durch mindestens eine Tasche oder einen Beutel umschlossen ist, die/der zumindest teilweise eine Folie nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 aufweist.
     
    14. Verpackung nach Anspruch 11, mit einer Wanne, die optional einen Einsatz aufweist, oder einem Tablett, die/das durch mindestens eine Tasche oder einen Beutel umschlossen ist, die/der zumindest teilweise eine Folie nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 aufweist.
     
    15. Verfahren zum Herstellen einer dekontaminierten Verpackung nach einem der Ansprüche 11 bis 13, mit den Schritten:

    a) Bereitstellen einer Folie nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10;

    b) Bilden einer Verpackung, die die Folie aufweist und die Gegenstände für medizinische, pharmazeutische oder kosmetische Zwecke enthält;

    c) Verschließen der Verpackung durch Versiegeln und/oder einen Klebstoff;

    d) Aussetzen der geschlossenen Verpackung einer Atmosphäre, die ein dekontaminierendes Gas und/oder einen dekontaminierenden Dampf enthält, optional gefolgt von Reinigen der dekontaminierten Verpackung mit einem Gas, um das dekontaminierende Gas und/oder den Dampf zu entfernen;

    e) hermetisches Versiegeln der Verpackung durch Aktivieren der Klebstoffschicht in der Folie mittels Energieübertragung.


     
    16. Verfahren nach Anspruch 15, das ferner zwischen den Schritten d) und e) den Schritt aufweist:
    f) Aussetzen der dekontaminierten Verpackung einer Atmosphäre, die ein Schutzgas enthält.
     


    Revendications

    1. Film pour applications d'emballage décontaminable par du gaz ou de la vapeur consistant en ou comprenant au moins, dans l'ordre de l'extérieur à l'intérieur de l'emballage

    a) une première couche de film (3), essentiellement imperméable au gaz ou à la vapeur de décontamination, présentant un premier motif de piqûres d'aiguille, de perforations et/ou de découpe,

    b) une couche adhésive (2) activable par transmission d'énergie, recouvrant l'ensemble de la surface de la couche située en-dessous ou formant des motifs,

    c) une couche d'un non-tissé sélectivement perméable (1), essentiellement imperméable aux microorganismes définie en tant que barrière microbienne mesurée selon la norme ASTM F1608-16 avec une valeur de taux d'abattement ( Log Réduction Value LRV) de 2 - 6.


     
    2. Film selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre
    d) une seconde couche de film (4) essentiellement imperméable au gaz ou à la vapeur de décontamination, présentant un second motif de piqûres d'aiguille, de perforations et/ou de découpe non congruent avec le premier motif, et disposée entre la couche adhésive (2) b) et la couche de non-tissé sélectivement perméable (1) c).
     
    3. Film selon la revendication 2, dans lequel les couches a) et d) forment une structure laminée ou sont jointives entre elles en des parties seulement de leur surface, en particulier au niveau de leurs zones périphériques de surface.
     
    4. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'activation de la couche adhésive (2) par transmission d'énergie peut être réalisée par apport de chaleur, irradiation UV, irradiation IR, induction et/ou irradiation par micro-ondes.
     
    5. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'adhésif (2) est un système adhésif pouvant être scellé par fusion à chaud contenant des additifs réagissant à la transmission d'énergie.
     
    6. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le non-tissé sélectivement perméable (1) est une structure film-fibrilles plexifilamentaire filée par filage éclair ou un non-tissé filé-lié à filaments très fins.
     
    7. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le non-tissé sélectivement perméable (1) est formé de polyéthylène haute densité (PE-HD), de polypropylène (PP) ou de polyéthylène téréphtalate (PET).
     
    8. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'adhésif (2) est disposé selon un motif de points, un motif de tirets et ou un motif linéaire positif ou négatif non congruent avec le motif de piqûres d'aiguille, de perforations et/ou de découpe de la première couche de film (3) et/ou de la seconde couche de film (4).
     
    9. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le film de la première et/ou la seconde couche (3, 4) comprend ou est constitué de polyéthylène, polypropylène, polyamide 6, polyéthylène téréphtalate ou leurs mélanges et/ou copolymères.
     
    10. Film selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le premier et/ou le second motif de piqûres d'aiguille, de perforations et/ou de découpe est choisi parmi des motifs de type labyrinthe, des motifs de type peigne et des motifs de bandes.
     
    11. Emballage pour l'emballage décontaminé d'objets destinés à des usages médicaux, pharmaceutiques ou cosmétiques comprenant au moins en partie un film selon l'une des revendications 1 à 10.
     
    12. Emballage selon la revendication 11 comprenant une cuve, comprenant optionnellement un receveur ou un bac, qui sont scellés par un film comprenant au moins en partie un film selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10.
     
    13. Emballage selon la revendication 12, dans lequel la cuve ou le bac scellé est en outre enfermé dans au moins un sac ou une poche comprenant au moins en partie un film selon l'une des revendications 1 à 10.
     
    14. Emballage selon la revendication 11 comprenant une cuve, comprenant optionnellement un receveur ou un bac, qui est enfermé dans au moins un sac ou une poche comprenant au moins en partie un film selon l'une des revendications 1 à 10.
     
    15. Procédé de création d'un emballage décontaminé selon l'une des revendications 11 à 13, comprenant les étapes

    a) fournir un film selon l'une des revendications 1 à 10,

    b) former un emballage comprenant le film et contenant les objets destinés à des usages médicaux, pharmaceutiques ou cosmétiques,

    c) fermer l'emballage par scellement et/ou au moyen d'un adhésif,

    d) exposer l'emballage fermé à une atmosphère contenant un gaz et/ou de la vapeur de décontamination, puis optionnellement purger l'emballage décontaminé avec un gaz pour éliminer le gaz et/ou la vapeur de décontamination,

    e) sceller hermétiquement l'emballage en activant la couche adhésive dans le film par transmission d'énergie.


     
    16. Procédé selon la revendication 15, comprenant en outre, entre les étapes d) et e), l'étape
    f) exposer l'emballage décontaminé à une atmosphère contenant un gaz protecteur.
     




    Drawing








    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description