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RADIATION STERILIZATION OF ALLOGRAFTS
B.S., Rutgers University - 2004
Thesis Advisor: Michael Dunn, Ph.D.
Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering
Clinical Academic Building
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Allograft safety is a great concern due to the risk of disease transmission from nonsterile tissues. Radiation sterilization, although proven effective, is not routinely used due to deleterious effects on the stability of allograft collagen. High energy particles associated with ionizing radiation causes damage to microstructure through direct interaction, as well as indirect chemical modification through the generation of radical oxygen species. These consequences are desired for sterilization of bioburden, but undesired for collagen. Radiation sterilization at effective doses has been known to result in declined mechanical properties, premature degradation, and ultimately failure in vivo. We have developed methods to successfully stabilize tendon allografts against mechanical and biological degradation after exposure to ionizing radiation. This radioprotective method was developed using a free radical scavenging cocktail of ascorbate and riboflavin-5-phosphate, and EDC crosslinking. This treatment, developed in vitro, was validated for safety and efficacy for in vivo use, and finally evaluated for ACL reconstruction in a sheep model. Successful radioprotection would allow regular use of ionizing radiation for sterilization, thereby ensuring the safety of allograft distribution.