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Chemical and morphological study of phaco tips surface by means of electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) before and after surgery

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Session Details

Session Title: Cat Surgery Equip/Phaco

Session Date/Time: Monday 15/09/2014 | 14:30-16:00

Paper Time: 14:54

Venue: Boulevard F (Level 1)

First Author: : M.Antonuccio ITALY

Co Author(s): :    P. Cecchini   G. Turco   P. Leon   D. Tognetto     

Abstract Details


To evaluate the presence of possible residual material and its chemical composition on phacoemulsification tips after surgery


Eye Clinic, University of Trieste, Italy


The following phaco tips were studied: 4 Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) laminar flow 19 G 15° straight tip reusable, 4 AMO laminar flow 20 G phaco tip 30° single use, 4 Alcon turbosonics mini-flared ABS tip 30° Kelman 0,9 mm single use, 4 Alcon turbosonics mini-flared ABS tip 30° round 1,1 mm single use. Two new and two used tips of each model were analyzed. In case of AMO laminar flow 19 G 15° straight tip, the tips were studied after 20 cataract cases. Used tips were sterilized at 134° Celsius. All tips were analyzed at the SEM to verify the presence of debris after surgery. Subsequently, a chemical analysis was carried out with EDS technology on the residual material and in an area without evidence of debris.


The chemical analysis of the areas of the tip which appeared free of residual material did not reveal the presence of Carbon but high levels of Titanium and Vanadium. The analysis of the debris demonstrated a high concentration of Carbon. The Carbon peak is suggestive of the presence of organic matter on the phaco tip after surgery.


The results demonstrate the presence of organic material on phaco tips after phacoemulsification. Although this material is sterile, it could play a possible pro inflammatory role if released in the anterior chamber during the next surgery. The use of disposable phaco tips seems advisable.

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