Effect of gamma, ethylene oxide, electron beam, and plasma sterilization on the behaviour of SR-PLLA fibres in vitro.

Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition

PubMedID: 12555899

Nuutinen JP, Clerc C, Virta T, Törmälä P. Effect of gamma, ethylene oxide, electron beam, and plasma sterilization on the behaviour of SR-PLLA fibres in vitro. J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2003;13(12):1325-36.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of various sterilization processes on the physical and mechanical properties of self-reinforced bioabsorbable fibres made out of polylactide (PLLA). The samples were sterilized using plasma, ethylene oxide (one and two cycles), gamma (25 kGy at room temperature, 25 kGy in dry ice, and 2 x 25 kGy at room temperature), and electron beam (15, 25, and 55 kGy) sterilization. The intrinsic viscosity, crystallinity, and mechanical properties (modulus of elasticity, yield strength, and ultimate tensile strength) were tested before and immediately after each sterilization treatment, as well as up to 30 weeks in vitro. Compared with unsterilized fibres, the intrinsic viscosity was markedly decreased after radiation sterilization (gamma and electron beam) and the loss in mechanical properties was accelerated during in vitro degradation. Plasma and ethylene oxide (one and two cycles) did not markedly alter the properties of the samples after sterilization or during in vitro degradation. These data are important for determining the effect of various sterilization processes on the physical and mechanical properties of polylactide-based materials and can be used to predict how fast degradation of the mechanical properties of the self-reinforced PLLA will occur. They can also be used to tailor the degradation kinetics to optimize implant design.