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Sterilizing tissue-materials using pulsed power plasma



Sterilizing tissue-materials using pulsed power plasma



Journal of Materials Science. Materials in Medicine 25(4): 953-964



This paper investigates the potential of pulsed power to sterilize hard and soft tissues and its impact on their physico-mechanical properties. It hypothesizes that pulsed plasma can sterilize both vascular and avascular tissues and the transitive layers in between without deleterious effects on their functional characteristics. Cartilage/bone laminate was chosen as a model to demonstrate the concept, treated at low temperature, at atmospheric pressure, in short durations and in buffered environment using a purposed-built pulsed power unit. Input voltage and time of exposure were assigned as controlling parameters in a full factorial design of experiment to determine physical and mechanical alteration pre- and post-treatment. The results demonstrated that, discharges of 11 kV sterilized samples in 45 s, reducing intrinsic elastic modules from 1.4 ± 0.9 to 0.9 ± 0.6 MPa. There was a decrease of 14.1 % in stiffness and 27.8 % in elastic-strain energy for the top quartile. Mechanical impairment was directly proportional to input voltage (P value < 0.05). Bacterial inactivation was proportional to treatment time for input voltages above 32 V (P < 0.001; R Sq = 0.98). Thermal analysis revealed that helix-coil transition decelerated with exposure time and collagen fibrils were destabilized as denaturation enthalpy reduced by 200 μV. We concluded by presenting a safe operating threshold for pulsed power plasma as a feasible protocol for effective sterilization of connective tissues with varying level of loss in mechanical robustness which we argue to be acceptable in certain medical and tissue engineering application.

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Accession: 055924170

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24449024

DOI: 10.1007/s10856-014-5142-3


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