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+1 (801) 290-7500
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Viral Penetration Test

The Viral Penetration test is a pass/fail test that evaluates the viral penetration resistance characteristics of personal protective equipment such as gowns, drapes, and gloves. This test is required by AAMI PB70 guidance to determine the level of protection for gowns and drapes. The test is also required for 510(k) submissions to the FDA, as well as for protective equipment per national fire protection agency regulation. Additionally, this test has been used by textile manufacturers to qualify their product for sale as raw material to medical device manufacturers.

The Viral Penetration test is officially recognized by the FDA and is performed in compliance with ASTM F1671 and AAMI PB70. Nelson Labs staff assisted in the development of this test method and has more experience in Viral Penetration testing than any other company. We provide a one-stop shop for all PB70 testing.

Applicable Standards

  • ASTM F1671
  • ISO 16604
  • AAMI PB70
  • ASTM F2407
  • NFPA 1971
  • NFPA 1999
  • NFPA 1951

Testing Locations

  • Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Leuven, Belgium

Study Outline

In this Viral Penetration test procedure, specimens are prepared by randomly cutting the test material into approximately 75 mm x 75 mm swatches. The swatches are conditioned at 21 ± 5°C and 30 – 80% relative humidity for at least 24 hours. Once conditioned, individual test specimens are loaded into the penetration test cell with the outside of the material facing the reservoir. The test cell reservoir is then filled with approximately 60 ml of the phiX174 bacteriophage suspension, maintained at a concentration of at least 1.0 x 108 plaque-forming units/mL, and allowed to sit for 5 minutes at atmospheric pressure.

After the initial 5 minutes, an external air source is connected to the test cell and a pressure of 2 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) is applied to the sample for 1 minute. After 1 minute of applied pressure, the pressure is released and the specimen then sits for an additional 54 minutes at atmospheric pressure.

Throughout the test, the surface of the specimen is observed for penetration. To further evaluate whether viral penetration occurred, at the end of the test, the surface of the test specimen is rinsed with a sterile assay fluid and collected. This assay fluid is plated using standard plaque assay techniques. The assay plates are then incubated for 6 – 18 hours. Specimens showing no plaques on any of the assay plates pass the test, while plates that exhibit plaque-forming units fail.

The surface tension range for blood and body fluids is approximately 42 – 60 dynes/cm. To simulate the wetting characteristics, the phiX174 bacteriophage suspension is adjusted to the lower end of this range (42 ± 2 dynes/cm).

If you have additional questions about Viral Penetration testing, or would like to consult with the experts at Nelson Labs, just send us a request or call us at (801) 290-7500.