Gamma Irradiation of Animal Serum: Theoretical Basis of Impacts of Gamma Irradiation on Biological and Synthetic Polymers

by Karl Hemmerich, Randy Fitzgerald, Dennis Hallett, Raymond Nims, and Rosemary Versteegen
Volume 18, Open Access (January 2019)

Gamma irradiation is a well-established process for reducing or eliminating the bacterial and viral load in medical devices, biologics, and other products such as animal sera. This process can lead to alterations in both the materials being treated and the product containers in use. High-energy radiation produces ionization and excitation in materials, generating energy-rich ions which undergo dissociation, abstraction, and additional reactions in a sequence that may lead to chemical alterations. The resulting chemical stabilization process, which occurs during, immediately following, and occasionally days after irradiation, often leads to physical and chemical cross-linking or chain scission. The physical changes to materials can include embrittlement, discoloration, odor generation, stiffening, softening, and enhancement or changes in chemical structure. This paper discusses how and why irradiated polymeric materials, including those of biological origin, may change their structure and effectiveness during and after exposure to gamma irradiation, and the potential impact of these changes on serum during irradiation…

Hemmerich K, Fitzgerald R, Hallett D, Nims R, Versteegen R. Gamma irradiation of animal serum: theoretical basis of impacts of gamma irradiation on biological and synthetic polymers. BioProcess J, 2019; 18.

Posted online January 28, 2019.