The Borosilicate Syringe: Why is it More Expensive?

The price of a borosilicate syringe is decided by its material costs, production costs, and market demand.
image of assembled borosilicate prefilled syringe

You may have found different pre-filled syringes to administer your medication. There are quite a few types of materials to choose from. One of the most popular materials for syringes is borosilicate glass.

Borosilicate glass is often used in medical applications because it is solid and resistant to thermal shock. But they are also more expensive than syringes made from other materials. Let’s take a look at why borosilicate syringes are so special.

The high cost of borosilicate glass material.

Borosilicate glass is made of silica and boron trioxide, which give it specific unique properties that other types of glass lack.

For one, it has a very low coefficient of thermal expansion. This means it can withstand drastic changes in temperature without breaking or warping.

It also has excellent chemical resistance and won’t corrode or react with most substances. These properties make borosilicate glass an ideal material for medical use.

picture of Borosilicate syringe barrel

Borosilicate syringes can be sterilized multiple times without fear of breakage or leaching. Steam/Air sterilization can be used for the pre-filled syringes after filling. The borosilicate syringes are great containers for a broader range of medications.

The cost of borosilicate glass tubes is higher than traditional glass tubes. The answer lies in the manufacturing process. They are more challenging to produce and require unique ingredients and techniques. As a result, fewer manufacturers can make it, driving the cost—famous suppliers such as Schott, Nipro, and Becton Dickinson.

The high cost of the borosilicate syringe production

A borosilicate syringe is a small, hand-held, plunger-operated device used to inject medications. The borosilicate pre-filled syringe is a vital component of many medical treatments.

Producing these syringes is a very complex process. The first step in the production process is to cut the glass tubing to the desired length. Next, the tubing is shaped into a cylinder. The cylinder is then annealed, which makes it more robust and less likely to break. After that, it is ground down to create a smooth surface. Finally, it is silicified, which helps prevent leakage.

The borosilicate syringe is shaped at once, and the glass tube is molded at a high temperature. The 1ml thin pre-filled syringe has an inner diameter of only 6.35mm, which requires precise machines and superb craftsmanship.

flow chart of borosilicate syringes production

The demand for the borosilicate syringes

Prefillable borosilicate syringes are not as available as syringes made from other materials. Borosilicate glass is relatively new material. And a few manufacturers have invested in the machinery and equipment to produce it. Fewer manufacturers mean high pricing authority.

Besides, the manufacturing process for Borosilicate syringes is more complex and time-consuming. Giant pharmaceutical companies use them for susceptible medicines, biomedicine, or vaccines. As demand for borosilicate glass syringes grows, the price will likely decrease.

Conclusion

When deciding on a type of syringe for your needs, consider all factors—including cost. Borosilicate syringes are more expensive but offer superior durability and chemical resistance. This means they are worth the investment. A borosilicate glass syringe is a good option if you’re looking for a high-quality syringe.

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November 25, 2022 5:07 pm - China