Low temperature and inert atmosphere gamma sterilisation of bioresorbable polymers used in medical applications

  • Lisa Davison

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The main sterilisation methods used in industry are ethylene oxide (EtO), electron beam (e- beam) and gamma irradiation. These are effective sterilising techniques but they all have notable disadvantages; EtO relies on 60% humidity to sterilise effectively and can leave toxic residuals, e-beam has low penetration power so cannot pass through large numbers of components simultaneously and gamma radiation can cause chain scission or cross-linking which can change materials' properties. Bioresorbable polymers are difficult materials to sterilise with the current industrial scale sterilisation techniques. These sterilisation methods can damage the polymer through; hydrolysis when in a humid environment or chemical reactions such as chain scission and cross-linking, therefore they are not ideal. For EtO and e-beam the drawbacks cannot be diminished, but for gamma irradiation, methods have been found to reduce the negative effects on the materials' properties.
Date of AwardJul 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast

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