About SiO2 Materials Science
What is SiO2 Materials Science?
SiO2 Materials Science (SiO2) is a privately-owned, Auburn, Alabama-based advanced materials science company. We invented a breakthrough, patented, hybrid material which brings the best qualities of glass and plastic without the drawbacks of either. Our technology for primary packaging is used by pharmaceutical, genomics, diagnostics, health, and beauty companies to help bring their innovations to life. Our most common products include high-performance, durable vials, syringes, blood collection tubes, and cartridges for auto-injectors and wearable devices.
Where is SiO2 manufacturing located?
SiO2 is a U.S. company. Our corporate offices, research laboratories, and manufacturing facilities are based in Auburn, Alabama.
What is SiO2’s history in advanced materials manufacturing?
SiO2 has nearly 60-years of advanced packaging materials innovation in both the life science and consumer goods markets. Beginning in the 1970s, we invented a range of FDA-approved medical products for storing samples and packaging medicines. Our most recent innovations include cryogenic vials, high-performance syringes, and specialty blood collection tubes.
We have also invented the familiar plastic milk jug with insert handle and leak proof cap, as well as other well-known, industry-leading products from M&M Mars Mini packaging tubes to Playtex insulated feeding cups for babies and desiccated vials for storing diabetic test strips.
What are the benefits of SiO2’s technology?
SiO2’s patented barrier technology combines the benefits of glass and plastic, without any of their drawbacks. This glass-like coating, which is applied to our polymer containers, provides a highly effective barrier to environmental gases, moisture, and particles. There are no metal ions, no particles, no leachables, and no oils. Our technology creates a completely inert container. The advantages of SiO2’s primary containers are: Thermal Stability & Integrity, Inert, Chemical Stability, Gas Barrier, Mechanical Durability, No Breakage, and Precision Molding.
For further information on the benefits of our technology, please reference our technical reports here.
Is SiO2’s coating material safe for use with vaccines?
Yes. SiO2’s primary containers can pair with a wide range of drugs and are designed to store, transport, and protect highly sensitive biological drugs and vaccines and therapies, including the mRNA, cell, and gene therapy solutions being developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do SiO2 vials compare to traditional glass vials?
SiO2’s primary containers are neither glass nor plastic. They have the properties of both, without the drawbacks. They have passed USP 660 and 1660 tests for glass equivalency. SIO2 containers have the barrier properties of glass and are the only real replacement to glass.
The risk profile of SiO2’s primary containers is significantly less than Type I borosilicate glass. SiO2’s containers do not contain leachables, extractables, or heavy metals. There is no risk of delamination with drug characterizations of pH 3-14. The vials are safer, stronger, more durable, and more dimensionally consistent than glass.
Can SiO2 help alleviate global glass supply shortages?
Yes. SiO2’s safer, stronger, and more cost-effective containers provide an ideal solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Unlike plastic containers, SIO2 containers do have the barrier properties of glass and are the only real replacement to glass. SiO2’s primary container manufacturing can be quickly scaled to meet demand and enhance the global primary packaging supply chain. Additionally, SiO2’s primary containers are shatterproof, therefore eliminating loss due to breakage throughout the supply chain and fill/finish processes.
Is there a price difference between SiO2 vials and traditional glass vials?
SiO2’s primary containers are manufactured using fully automated, semi-continuous manufacturing lines with real-time, 100% process monitoring and inspection, which can significantly reduce overall processing costs. Our containers are ready to use (RTU). We pass these benefits to our customers, enabling our vials to be more cost competitive.
What size vials does SiO2 manufacture?
SiO2’s vials are available in ISO standard 2ml, 6ml, 10ml, and 20ml vial formats.
Does SiO2 manufacture products other than vials?
Yes. SiO2 manufactures a wide variety of primary packaging, including syringes, blood collection tubes, and other medical collection containers. For syringes specifically, SiO2 offers glass-equivalent staked needle and Luer Lock syringes in ISO standard 0.2ml, 0.5ml, and 2.25ml syringe formats. We are also introducing our next generation syringe platform which are silicone oil-free and lubricant free.
SiO2 Materials Science’s Response to COVID-19
How is SiO2 supporting the COVID-19 response effort?
SiO2 is directly supporting the COVID-19 response by providing high-performance, durable primary containers to the pharmaceutical industry and U.S. Government. Our containers support a wide variety of drug and vaccine characterizations, including those requiring cold storage, such as the mRNA vaccines in development.
Is SiO2 partnered with the U.S. Government to provide vials for COVID-19 vaccines?
Yes. SiO2 is pleased to partner with the U.S. Government on the accelerated manufacturing of vaccine vials for COVID-19 vaccines currently in development. More information on our agreement with the U.S. Government can be found here.
Why are SiO2’s vials a better alternative to glass vials in the COVID-19 response?
SiO2’s vials are safer, stronger, and more cost-effective than traditional glass vials. Our vials are ready to use and do not require expensive glass plants which use large amounts of energy for heating and washing of glass containers. Our vials are specially designed to store, transport, and protect a wide variety of highly sensitive drugs and vaccines, including the mRNA vaccine solutions in development. SiO2’s vials exhibit a thermal stability range of -196˚C to 121˚C and a seal integrity certified to -80˚C.
How quickly can SiO2 scale its manufacturing to meet global vaccine packaging demands?
SiO2 has been actively working with its customers to gauge global vaccine packaging demand and has made investments in its manufacturing capacity to be able to scale rapidly to meet demand and augment global vial supply. We are scaling our capacity to produce more than 120 million vials annually. This is equivalent to more than 1 billion doses of vaccine annually.
SiO2 is Dedicated to Community Wellbeing
How does SiO2 contribute to its local community?
SiO2 currently employs more than 200 engineers, scientists and technicians – most of whom live locally in Lee County, Alabama – at its manufacturing plant in Auburn, Alabama. We partner with the City of Auburn’s Economic Development Department in hiring new graduates from Auburn University as well as experienced and qualified individuals from neighboring companies that have recently closed or are in the process of closing as a result of the pandemic. SiO2 provides extensive training to employees with the support of Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) and Auburn University.
Is SiO2 partnered with any universities?
Yes. SiO2 is a member of the Auburn University network. In addition, SiO2 is partnered with several leading researchers at world-renowned research institutions, including the California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Santa Barbara and Berkeley, and the University of Chicago.
Does SiO2 use environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes?
SiO2’s manufacturing process does not require large amounts of water and energy compared to traditional glass vial manufacturing. Our vials use an energy-efficient injection molding process, which does not require large amounts of energy to heat and melt raw materials into glass. Our process does not require washing, which saves water, and remains particle-free and clean throughout the entire process. We strive to be responsible members of our community with environmentally-conscious technology.
Additional Product Information
Is SiO2’s medical container technology used for other applications?
Yes. Our technology allows us to support customers from various industries to unveil new possibilities and successfully introduce products to market. SiO2 is partnered with leading consumer and cosmetic companies to provide high-performance coating for specialty containers. Our coating system can be applied to most containers, and provides the barrier properties of glass, the durability of plastic, and the sustainability of biodegradable materials. If you are interested in learning more about our non-medical applications, please contact us at: .
Does SiO2 ship its primary containers worldwide?
SiO2 provides primary container products globally.
Are SiO2 containers available for purchase by consumers?
SiO2’s containers are commercially available, though they are primarily used as part of a commercial manufacturing supply chain.