Tuesday 28 June 2022

Ph. Eur. survey for the use of total organic carbon (TOC) test as a replacement of oxidisable substances test in Water for Injections


The experts of the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) are considering replacing the test for oxidisable substances by the test for total organic carbon (TOC) in the Tests section of the “Sterilised water for injections” part of the monograph on Water for injections (0169). This change has been discussed with other pharmacopoeias (United States Pharmacopeia, Japanese Pharmacopoeia) and is already implemented in one of them. The experts of the Ph. Eur. would like to gather information from manufacturers, before the official consultation phase, to make sure that the method and acceptance criteria envisaged in the discussions with partner pharmacopoeias would be appropriate and feasible for European manufacturers of sterilised water in containers.



See: https://survey.edqm.eu/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=395252&lang=en


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

Thursday 23 June 2022

Fungi may communicate using fifty ‘words’


Fungi are a sophisticated life form, whether mushrooms, moulds or yeasts. A new level of complexity has been detected through recent mycological research that expands upon our understanding as to how fungi communicate.


The research is based on computer analysis of the electrical signals fungi produce. The purpose of these electrical signals appears to function as a mechanism whereby fungi can communicate to each other.


Fungi conduct electrical impulses through hyphae (the long filamentous structures produce by moulds and mushrooms). To draw on an analogy, this is perhaps similar to how nerve cells transmit information in animals.


Earlier research has demonstrated that the firing rate of the electrical impulses increases in tensity when the hyphae of wood-digesting fungi contact with wooden. This opened up the scientific inquiry for fungi deploying an electrical “language” so they can share information about food or, perhaps, injury to other fungi when the hyphae of other fungi are connected.


This has led to the current research and the remarkable finding that the identified patterns possess some structural similarity to human speech.


This possibility has been raised by Professor Andrew Adamatzky from the University of the West of England. Adamatzky analysed the patterns of electrical spikes generated by four species of macroscopic fungi:


·         Enoki (also known as velvet shank, this is a species of edible mushroom in the family Physalacriaceae).

·         Split gill (fungus in the genus Schizophyllum. The mushroom resembles undulating waves of tightly packed corals or loose Chinese fan).

·         Ghost (Omphalotus nidiformis. Ghost fungi often grow en masse in large overlapping clusters around the bases of both living and dead trees).

·         Caterpillar fungi (Ophiocordyceps sinensis, this is a fungus that grows on insects).


Adamatzky undertook his research by inserting tiny microelectrodes into the fungal mycelia (the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a network of fine white filaments). Many fungi will combine to form mycelia.


The electrical spikes foreach of the four fungi can be classified as different sets of activity, patterns similar to vocabularies representing 50 sets if information (analogous to 50 different words). It also appears that the distribution of the “fungal word lengths” has a level of similarity with human languages.


Often the electrical signals are used in combination, creating a sentence like form of communication. Of the different the Split gills (often found on decaying wood) produces the most complex “sentences”.


The purpose is with survival of a mass of fungi, signalling the presence of attractants (such as a food source) and repellants (something that might cause the fungi harm).


Speaking with The Guardian, Adamatzky says: “We do not know if there is a direct relationship between spiking patterns in fungi and human speech. Possibly not…On the other hand, there are many similarities in information processing in living substrates of different classes, families and species. I was just curious to compare.”


Certainly the electrical spikes do not appear to be random and there are rhythmic patterns, and they have some kind of purpose. Further research will either confirm or refute the findings and explore whether there is indeed a fungal language.


The research appears in the journal Royal Society Open Science. The research paper is titled “Language of fungi derived from their electrical spiking activity.”


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

Wednesday 22 June 2022

Supply Chains Used in the Medical Industry: How They Keep Equipment Sterile

Without clean, sanitary equipment, it’s hard to imagine the level of care that can go into a patient’s treatment. Various terms and methods are used across different stages of the supply chain to keep things as clean as possible.

By Lizzie Weakley

While different industries may have different processes, they all share similar traits. They also follow some basic principles that can help you understand how they work. We’ll look at how these supply chain concepts work for the medical industry, starting with the basics and working our way up to the more complex methods used today.

Supply Chain Hygiene

Supply chain hygiene is the management and control of risks that arise between the point of production and the point of consumption. It is an important concept in the manufacturing, distribution, and retail sectors. To ensure a product continues to be safe to use and consume, each step of the manufacturing process is subject to rigorous controls.

Inspection and Transportation

The first step in supply chain hygiene is inspection. It is the process of verifying the quality of each product at its source. Inspectors ensure that each product is free of defects, such as broken pieces or other flaws. Here, hygiene measures are taken.

Next, transportation is utilized. This is the process of bringing the product from its source to its destination. It’s a critical step because one of the key risks of contamination is cross-contamination. There are special procedures in place to avoid this. The process of loading the products on and off of vehicles can be difficult. Keeping items sterile from one transport to the next requires intentional care.

Trusted Manufacturers

As products are transported throughout the supply chain, they are susceptible to microbial contamination. However, choosing the right manufacturer can make a big difference. For instance, most lateral flow test assembly kitting  is done in a sterile environment. It’s important to know where your product is moving through and how the materials are handled.

The best way to limit the risk of contamination is to keep products separate. However, if this is not possible, sticking with a reliable and safe manufacturer is key. Additionally, choosing direct shipping if possible can help.

Supply chain hygiene is important in the manufacturing, distribution, and retail sectors. It’s about managing the risks associated with microbial contamination. Keeping products sterile is essential for not only company responsibility but customer care.


Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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