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Material properties of ophthalmic sutures after sterilization and disinfection.

PURPOSE: To assess the effects that sterilization and disinfection have on the tensile properties of commonly used ophthalmic sutures. SETTING: University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. METHODS: The sutures 10-0 nylon, 10-0 polypropylene (Prolene), 8-0 virgin silk, and 8-0 polyglactin 910 (Vicryl) were subjected to thermal or chemical sterilization/disinfection including autoclaving, boiling, and immersion in alcohol or glutaraldehyde. Measurements of tensile strength, suture extension to the point of failure, and suture stiffness were then performed. RESULTS: Nylon and Prolene were little affected by all sterilization and disinfection methods. Virgin silk and Vicryl were weakened by thermal methods of sterilization and disinfection. Both Vicryl, and to a lesser extent virgin silk, appeared to be strengthened by immersion in alcohol or glutaraldehyde. CONCLUSION: The casual reuse of ophthalmic sutures is not recommended. However, when there is no alternative, nylon and Prolene monofilaments can be autoclaved or immersed in fresh activated glutaraldehyde, and Vicryl and virgin silk can be immersed in fresh activated glutaraldehyde without significant loss of tensile strength.[1]

References

  1. Material properties of ophthalmic sutures after sterilization and disinfection. Shuttleworth, G.N., Vaughn, L.F., Hoh, H.B. Journal of cataract and refractive surgery. (1999) [Pubmed]
 
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