Effects of packaging environments on free radicals in γ-irradiated UHMWPE resin powder blend with vitamin E


Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) powder (GUR 1020) was blended with high concentration (20%) of vitamin E (α-Tocopherol (α-T)) for direct detection of α-T radicals in presence of PE radicals. Samples were γ-irradiated in sealed packages filled with N 2, or in open air. Free radicals were measured in open air environment for 71 days using electron spin resonance (ESR) technique. When irradiated in air, both α-T and α-T-resin produced identical ESR signals characteristics of tochopheroxyl radicals (α-T-O •), suggesting that PE radicals are quenched by α-T. There was no indication of growth of oxygen-induced radicals (OIR) either. However, when α-T-resin was irradiated in N2, presence of both PE and α-T radicals were evident in the ESR spectra. And, OIR were produced by the same samples when they were subsequently exposed to air (for 71 days). Oxidation data recorded 85 days after postirradiation aging in air using Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, however, did not show any measurable difference between samples irradiated in N2 and air. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A