Aggregation of Insulin, Containing Surfactants, in Contact with Different Materials

  1. David Johnson
  1. Bureau of Medical Devices, Environmental Health Centre, Health and Welfare Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2, Canada
  1. Address reprint requests to Attar S. Chawla at the above address.


The aggregation of insulin and of insulin protected with surfactants was studied by shaking at 37°C in glass, in polypropylene and polystyrene vials, and in CPI and Auto-Syringe insulin syringes and infusion sets. Surfactants such as Pluronic 17R8 and 25R5 hastened the aggregation, whereas Pluronic F68 was effective in preventing it. Furthermore, there was no change in the immunoreactivity of insulin containing Pluronic F68 even after 8 days of shaking. Unprotected insulin aggregated in all the vials.

There appears to be little problem with the commercial syringes tested, but the infusion sets could cause aggregation of insulin if used over an extended period of time. Although Pluronic F68 prevented insulin aggregation in situ, it extracted more impurities from the contacting plastics. Further development in materials and design of insulin sets and insulin containers appears necessary.

  • Received February 23, 1984.
  • Revision received October 15, 1984.
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