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Determination of Low-Level Residual Ethylene Oxide by Using Solid-Phase Microextraction and Gas Chromatography

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Current methods of analysis for ethylene oxide (EO) in medical devices include headspace and simulated-use extractions followed by gas chromatography with either a packed or a capillary column. The quantitation limits are about 0.5–1.0 μg/g for a packed column and about 0.1–0.2 μg/g for a capillary column. The current allowable levels of EO on medical devices sterilized with EO gas as outlined in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 10993-7 may be significantly reduced from current levels by applying the ISO Draft International Standard 10993-17 method for establishing allowable limits. This may require EO test methods with detection and quantitation limits that are much lower than those of the currently available methods. This paper describes a new method that was developed for the determination of low-level EO by solid-phase microextraction using the direct-immersion method. Factors such as temperature and stirring were found to affect absorption efficiency and absorption time. A low extraction temperature (about 6°C) was found to be more efficient than room-temperature extraction. Stirring was found to reduce absorption time by about 50%. Under these conditions, detection and quantitation limits of 0.002 and 0.009 μg/g, respectively, were obtained by using a capillary column. As a result, this method makes compliance with lower EO limits feasible.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tyco/Healthcare-Kendall, 2010 E. International Speedway Blvd, DeLand, FL 32724.

Publication date: November 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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