Gamma sterilization is commonly used for sterilizing single-use medical devices. The radiation involved in gamma sterilization can compromise the performance of some medical packaging materials, but that’s not the case with DuPont™ Tyvek®.
Medical and pharmaceutical styles of Tyvek® maintain excellent microbial barrier properties and experience only slight changes in tensile strength, elongation and color when exposed to radiation doses typically used in the medical device industry, which range from 25 kGy to 100 kGy.
The superior properties of Tyvek® are also maintained after gamma sterilization followed by exposure to accelerated and real-time aging, clearly demonstrating the radiation stability of Tyvek®.
Unlike other porous materials, Tyvek® resists post gamma sterilization brittleness and maintains its excellent low-linting performance when packages are opened.
Undesirable odors produced by gamma sterilization can be aerated out of medical packages made with Tyvek® because it is a porous material. Nonporous materials can trap these odors inside the packaging.
Another advantage of the porous nature of Tyvek® is that it allows medical packages to equilibrate rapidly from the pressure changes that occur during gamma sterilization.
It is important to note that although Tyvek® may withstand re-sterilization with gamma, the device itself may not. If re-sterilization is required, gas sterilization can also be performed. Tyvek® will remain flexible after re-sterilization and will continue to provide an excellent microbial barrier.