Effects of Heat/Citric Acid Reprocessing on High-Flux Polysulfone Dialyzers
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The surface features, morphology, and tensile properties of fibers obtained from pristine, reprocessed, and reused Fresenius Polysulfone High-Flux (Hemoflow F80A) hemodialyzers have been studied. Scanning electron microscopy of the dialyzer fibers revealed a dense skin layer on the inner surface of the membrane and a relatively thick porous layer on the outer surface. Transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy showed an alteration in membrane morphology due to reprocessing and reuse, or to a deposition of blood-borne material on the membrane that is not removed with reprocessing. Fluorescent microscopy images also showed that a fluorescent material not removed by heat/citric acid reprocessing builds up with continued use of the dialyzers. The tensile properties of the dialyzer fibers were not affected by the heat/citric acid reprocessing procedure. The protein layers formed on pristine and reused hemodialyzer membranes during clinical use were also studied using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting. A considerable amount of protein was found on the blood side of single and multiple use dialyzers. Proteins adsorbed on the dialysate side of the membrane were predominantly in the molecular weight region below 30 kDa. Little protein was detected on the membranes of reprocessed hemodialyzers.
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