Glass Syringe Barrels from PEG Fill Unique Roles in All Industries

Glass Syringe Barrels
Glass syringe barrels replace plastic when biocompatibility is a concern.

Glass syringe barrels are a specialty component at Precision Electronic Glass that we custom fabricate for our clients. Because of their special properties, these custom glass syringe barrels are often quite unique and in high demand. Glass works well for syringes due to its ability to prevent oxygen, water, and other elements from interacting with drug and industrial compounds. In fact, glass syringe barrels are preferred for specialty applications where plastic syringes are not suitable. For example, such applications could include dispensing oil concentrates or locating the epidural space during the loss of resistance method for regional anesthesia.

Borosilicate glass syringe barrels are less likely to interact with fluids than plastic. They are often chosen when biocompatibility may be a concern. These syringes have a very tight seal — ideal for the smooth action of specific applications such as regional anesthesia. PEG has been providing glass syringe barrels for medical and industrial markets for more than 50 years.

glass syringe barrels
Custom syringe barrels with company names and custom scales.

Specialty Glass Syringe Barrels for a Variety of Applications

PEG produces glass syringe barrels using our precision shrinking process. This ensures we meet the needs of our customers for low-friction, ultra-smooth inner diameters. Our precision bore is optimal for applications ranging from syringe glass to fluid flow and volume measurement.

glass syringe barrels
An example of ground steps in custom glass syringe barrels at PEG.

We add ultra-accurate steps to the syringe barrel using our CNC grinding machines upon request. As a result, PEG delivers the accuracy and repeatability vital to the industries we serve.

Decaling is available for our customers who would like their logo, serial numbers, scales, or other unique marking added to their components to fit their specific needs.

glass syringe barrels
Custom injection on a universal reactor work station.

Glass Syringe Barrels are the Standard in Pre-Fill Syringe Manufacturing

Glass syringe barrels are the gold standard for pre-filled syringes (PFS) because their barrier properties prevent oxygen and water vapor permeation from interacting with drug compounds. Plus, since glass is the most common material for pre-filled syringes, it’s already compatible with different filling machines and makes it easy for pharmaceutical companies to integrate glass syringe barrels into their operations.

Also, regulatory authorities have experience with glass allowing for a more streamlined path for drug approval. Finally, multiple suppliers produce various types of glass syringe barrels. Therefore, supply chain disruptions don’t stop drug production and supply.

glass syringe barrels
A scientist works with a syringe to get a chromatography analysis.

However, glass does have some disadvantages. Of course, glass must be handled properly on the fill line and by users or it is more susceptible to break. Also, glass might not be compatible with certain needleless devices. In 2011, the FDA halted the use of needleless glass pre-filled syringes for adenosine and amiodarone in emergency rooms, crash carts, and ambulances because of the potential for malfunction.

glass syringe barrels
A vintage glass syringe and vaccine bottle.

A Long History of Making Our Lives Healthier

Glass syringe barrels have been helping improve the health, safety, and convenience of human lives since the 1800s. The earliest confirmed experiments in intravenous injection were performed by Christopher Wren in 1656. The hollow metal needle was invented in 1844 by Irish physician Francis Rynd. The first hypodermic syringes were independently invented simultaneously in 1853 by Scottish physician Alexander Wood and French surgeon Charles Gabriel Pravaz. These were first used to inject morphine as a painkiller.

In 1897, Maxwell W. Becton and Fairleigh S. Dickinson formed a medical device import company they named Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD). The following year, the start-up paid $40 to acquire a half interest in the patent rights to an all-glass syringe developed by H. Wulfing Luer of Paris. Although the firm began importing the syringes, by 1906 BD incorporated and opened the first manufacturing facility in the US specifically for producing hypodermic needles, syringes, and thermometers.

glass syringe barrels
Since Dr. Jonas Salk introduced the vaccine in the 1950s, this is a familiar childhood experience.

By 1925, BD introduced the Yale Luer-Lock Syringe. Dickinson designs and patents it to provide a secure way of attaching a needle and removing it from a syringe. Today, the Luer-lock connectors are standard in the US.

Arthur E. Smith files for patents on the first disposable glass syringes in the late 1940s. He received eight US patents for his design between 1949 and 1950. However, it was BD Company that first mass-produced the devices, in 1954, to aid Dr. Jonas Salk’s mass vaccination program. That year, one million American children received the new Salk polio vaccine.

glass syringe barrels
Syringes infuse oils and spices in the kitchen.

Putting Syringes to Work in Other Fields

From gourmet restaurants to automotive specialty repair, the unique applications for custom glass syringes seem endless.

Gas-tight syringes are ideal for dispensing both liquids and gases. Leak-free seals ensure a tight fit so that the tip essentially wipes the interior of the syringe barrel free of the sample. This feature is particularly useful with heterogeneous samples because it reduces the chance that a deposit will occur and cause the plunger to freeze. These are at work in the lab and industrial applications.

Gas chromatography autosamplers use glass syringe barrels that have unmatched attention to detail. Our manufacturing process and quality assurance procedures ensure that every syringe provides superior accuracy and precision. In addition, our glass syringe barrels represent a comprehensive line for laboratory, life science, and industrial applications for non-sterile conditions offering top quality in superior borosilicate glass.

piglets getting a vaccine
Veterinarian at work on farm inoculating piglets.

In addition, PEG manufactures syringe components for high-performance liquid chromatography. Our HPLC syringes work with capillary and packed column methods, on-column and split/splitless injection techniques, and headspace sampling.

glass syringe barrels
Artist uses a syringe to mix colors for painting latex masks.

About PEG

PEG’s mission is to provide customized glass and quartz products and related products and services to OEMs and distributors around the world in countries where our customers operate. Our objective is to fabricate the finest precision glass and quartz components and assemblies to customers’ specifications. Working together with customers, PEG manufactures prototypes; handles small to large production runs; performs value-added assembly, and provides cleanroom processing when specifications dictate the need for it.

Utilizing standard or computer-controlled glass lathe fabrication; glass-to-glass and glass-to-metal seals; cutting and end finishing; and precision grinding/polishing, PEG produces a variety of components and value-added assemblies, including medical, dental, or industrial glass X-ray tubes, and CO2 or HeNe lasers. We produce all glass and quartz fabrications in facilities certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards of quality. Our commitment to quality and integrity in everything we do is reflected in our mission statement, corporate values, and quality policy.