The glass syringe has been the mainstay in the administration of parenteral medicines due to its chemical resistance, high heat tolerance, and transparency. But in an ever-evolving medical device market, syringes made from glass-like thermoplastics are becoming an increasingly attractive option.

One such material called Cyclo Olefin Polymer (COP) offers the same benefits of glass but has additional clinical and cost-effective advantages. With the many COP syringe manufacturers available, it’s essential to find a premium syringe that meets your diverse needs. A leading candidate in the syringe market, Merit Medical’s COP Syringe is a high quality product that surpasses its competition—and your expectations.

COP Science & Special Characteristics 

COP is a transparent, amorphous thermoplastic derived from norbornene, a ring-shaped hydrocarbon made from dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and ethylene.1 COP’s unique chemical structure yields a material that’s lightweight yet durable. Unlike glass, a COP syringe is less likely to break in the hand of a clinician or during transportation, potentially reducing the risk of injury and preventing wastage of costly medicines.

Boasting high resistance to chemicals and heat (212-374°F Tg), COP is a practical container option for expensive drugs that are sensitive to syringe material.1 COP can withstand a broad pH range of 2 to 12, offering good resistance to acids, bases, alcohols, and fragrances.2 A resin that retains a high level of purity, COP has low residual metals that measure less than .02 ppm.*

Cyclo olefin polymer is derived from norbornene, a ring-shaped hydrocarbon. The above is a common polymerization creation for a cyclin olefin polymer.

When compared to glass, COP is considered a low-leachable alternative. A 36-month leachable study on water for injection in direct contact within a COP pre-fillable syringe showed no difference in leachable amounts between COP and glass.3 Additional comparison extractable studies have resulted in COP displaying element extractable values lower than glass, suggesting COP is a viable alternative that can achieve very low-level extractable profiles.3

One of COP’s most significant properties is its robust moisture barrier that shields its contents from the effects of humidity and oxygen. Data show COP absorbs water at an ultra low rate of less than .01% over a 24-hour period.4 Virtually impenetrable, COP can protect against moisture loss in pre-filled materials, which can lengthen the shelf life of drugs.2  This is significant because, just like glass, COP syringes can store liquids for several years. Because of COP’s high-quality, glass-like transparency, any visible changes to pre-filled content can be detected.

COP Pre-filled Syringes: Clinical Applications 

COP is often used to package biotech injectables that are costly and sensitive to their environment. Hyaluronic acid—a common glycosaminoglycan found throughout human tissue and used in orthopedics, cosmetic surgery, and ophthalmics—is an example of a product that calls for the high-quality packaging that pre-filled COP syringes offer.5

From dermatology to dentistry, the potential that COP pre-filled syringes have in a variety of other clinical settings is noteworthy. For example, aqueous sodium hypochlorite solution used during root canal treatments is often packaged in pre-filled syringes. Reports show the percentage of flu vaccine packaged in pre-filled syringes has more than doubled from 21% during the 2006-2007 flu season to 48% during 2012-2013.6

Interventional radiology procedures utilize pre-filled syringes of embolic. In emergency situations or remote clinics that quickly need to respond to outbreaks of disease, pre-filled syringes offer convenience and a speedy delivery because time-consuming steps like drug reconstitution aren’t required.2,7 Pre-filled syringes are also becoming popular in caring for aging individuals suffering from chronic disease who require ongoing parenteral medications.8

Patient self-administration of medicines using pre-filled syringes is another healthcare trend on the rise. It offers the benefit of precise dosage for those who need at-home therapy, such as insulin for diabetic patients, hormone replacement therapies, and cancer drugs.2,7,9

Merit’s COP Syringe Performance & Specifications

The Merit COP Syringe is a leading candidate in the pre-filled syringe market. Versus other syringes, the Merit COP Syringe protects against moisture loss from product loaded in the barrel. This allows the syringe to be pre-filled while maintaining a long shelf life.

Extremely low in leachable compounds, the Merit COP Syringe has good chemical resistance and a certification of purity 10 times higher than other syringes.* Its glass-like clarity allows the medical professional to visually check and easily identify the content for containments, clouding, particulate or any other defects. Discernible or apparent improvement in the clarity of a syringe gives the medical professional more confidence through visual confirmation.

As any manufacturer knows, a finished device is only as strong as its weakest component. The Merit COP Syringe is made with quality materials that include a COP barrel, fixed male luer, and silicone plunger tip. Plungers come in two options: heat-resistant polycarbonate (PC) or Bisphenol A-free acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS). For your convenience, the PC version is compatible with steam and ethylene oxide sterilization (EtO), whereas the ABS plunger is compatible with EtO only.

To meet your diverse needs, Merit offers COP syringes in 1mL, 10mL, and 20mL volume sizes that come in 192 count per case, 160 count per case, and 128 count per case, respectively. To avoid potential damage or any type of aesthetic alterations, all pieces are shipped in a protective shipping tray.

COP pre-filled syringes aren’t just the future of medicine. They’re the NOW. Request a sample below or contact Customer Service at or 1 801 208 4313.

Request your sample of the Merit Medical COP Syringe today

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1. Schut, J. (2000, Mar 1). New Cyclic Olefins. Retrieved from

2. Makwana, S., Basu, B., Makasana, Y., et al. (2011). Pre-filled syringes: An innovation in parenteral packaging. Int J Pharm Investig, Oct-Dec; 1(4): 200-206.

3. Kiminami, H., Takeuchi, K., Nakamura, K. (2015). Low leachable container system consisting of a polymer-based syringe with chlorinated isoprene isobutene rubber plunger stopper. PDA J Pharm Sci Technol, Nov-Dec; 69(6): 713-724.

4. Cidra Precision Services. (n.d.). Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC)/Cyclic Olefin Polymer (COP). Retrieved from

5. Jones, A. (2014, Aug 8). Point of view. Retrieved from

6. Myers, E., Rosenberg, S. (2015, Mar 22). Pre-filled Syringe Vaccine Doses: An Emerging Option in the Retail-Based Clinic Setting. Retrieved from

7. Pharmaceutical Technology. (2011, Dec 16). Pre-filled syringes: Getting to the point. Retrieved from

8. Butschli, J. (2013, Nov 21). Global pre-filled syringe market to reach $4.98 Billion in 2019. Retrieved from

9. Paragliola, R. M., Prete, A., Papi, G., et al. (2016). Clinical utility of lanreotide Autogel® in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Drug Des Devel Ther, Oct; 10: 3459-3470.