The study, led by Valentina Sharapova, Associate Professor of the Department of Metallurgy of the Ural Federal University, won the competition for coordinated research projects of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The work “The effect of sterilization irradiation on the properties of commercially available polymer materials used in the production of medical equipment” will receive financial support from the IAEA until 2026.
According to Valentina Sharapova, medical devices, instruments and appliances are usually sterilized using ethylene oxide sterilization, steam and ionizing radiation. These are well-known and effective methods of sterilizing disposable syringes and vials, intravenous blood bags, heart valves and other plastic products. However, the problem is that ionizing radiation can dramatically change the properties of polymeric materials.
“We plan to research and define the characteristics of medical devices and their components to study the effect of sterilization radiation on the mechanical and chemical properties of medical devices that are made from polymer materials,” explains Sharapova.
The responsible executor of the project is Vladimir Ivanov, director of the Physics and Technology Institute of the Ural Federal University. Therefore, research will be carried out by employees of the Physicotechnical Institute and the Institute of New Materials and Technologies of the UrFU, including at the center of radiation sterilization.
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