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Ethylene oxide gas is commonly used to sterilize medical devices, and concerns about using this agent on biological systems are well-established. Medical devices sterilized by ethylene oxide must be properly aerated to remove residual gas and by-products. In this work, kinetics of ethylene oxide desorption from different sterilized materials were studied in a range of aeration temperatures. The experimental data were well-described by a Fickian diffusion mass transfer behavior, and diffusivities were estimated for two textile and two polymeric materials within the temperature range of 1.5 to 59.0 degrees C. The results will allow predictions of ethylene oxide desorption, which is a key step for the design of sterilization/aeration processes, contributing to an efficient removal of residual ethylene oxide content.


Gisela C Mendes, Teresa R S Brandão, Cristina L M Silva. Kinetics of ethylene oxide desorption from sterilized materials. Journal of AOAC International. 2013 Jan-Feb;96(1):33-6

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PMID: 23513954

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