Shelf-life, bioburden, water and oxygen permeability studies of laser welded SEBS/PP blended polymer

Sci Rep. 2023 Sep 1;13(1):14379. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-41477-8.


The most common material used for blood bags is PVC, which requires the addition of DEHP to increase its flexibility. DEHP is known to cross the polymer barrier and move into the stored blood and, ultimately, the patient’s bloodstream. In this work, an alternative prototype composed of SEBS/PP was fabricated through blow-moulding and compared with the commercially available PVC-based blood bag which was designated as the control. The blow-moulded sample layers were welded together using CO2 lasers and optimized to obtain complete sealing of the sides. The samples’ performance characteristics were analyzed using water permeability, oxygen permeability, shelf-life, and bioburden tests. The SEBS/PP sample exhibited the highest oxygen permeability rate of 1486.6 cc/m2/24 h after 40 days of ageing, indicating that the sample is conducive for red blood cell (RBC) respiration. On the other hand, the SEBS/PP sample showcased a lower water permeability rate of 0.098 g/h m2 after 40 days of aging, indicating a high-water barrier property and thus preventing water loss during storage. In comparison, the oxygen and water permeability rates of PVC-DEHP were found to be distinctly lower in performance (662.7 cc/m2/24 h and 0.221 g/h m2, respectively). In addition, shelf-life analyses revealed that after 40 days of ageing, polymer samples exhibited no visual damage or degradation. The optimal parameters to obtain adequate welding of the SEBS/PP were determined to be power of 60% (18 W), speed of 70 in/sec and 500 Pulse Per Inch (PPI). Furthermore, the bioburden estimates of SEBS/PP of 115 CFU are markedly lower compared to the bioburden estimate of PVC-DEHP of 213 CFU. The SEBS/PP prototype can potentially be an effective alternative to PVC-based blood bags, particularly for high-risk patients in order to reduce the likelihood of medical issues.

PMID:37658068 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-41477-8


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