Deformation of scalpel blades after incision of gingival tissue in pig mandibles. An ex vivo study

Antonio Díaz Caballero, Arnulfo Tarón Dunoyer, Roes Hernández Ligardo, Ángel Camacho Vergara, Natalia Fortich Mesa


Introduction: Rheology is the science that studies deformation of objects when submitted to external forces. This science was associated to the scalpel blade, which is a cutting tool of therapeutic importance. Objective: To describe and compare deformation of the cutting surface of Bard Parker No. 15 scalpel blades (Elite® and Paramount® brands), performing one to four cuts in ex vivo pig gums. Material and methods: Comparative-descriptive study. Commercial use pig mandibles were used. Cuts with 20 scalpel blades per brand were performed. A texture analyzer with force to perform these cuts was used, keeping regulated speed and constant position. A stereo-microscope was used to photograph and compare the surface of the scalpel blades before and after being used. ImageJ software was used to measure deformed areas of the scalpel blades in pictures. Results: Average cutting effort from both brands was 49.1 Newton (N), this effort did not statistically differ in each particular brand, Elite® reported an overall cutting effort of 48.1 N [27.2-179.7], meanwhile Paramount® showed 49.1 N [0.0- 60.3] (p = 0.776). The deformations of the scalpel blades were evaluated. For Elite®, 75% of the scalpel blades suffered some kind of deformation; for Paramount®, 90% did. Conclusion: The cutting effort performed by the scalpel blades increases with each incision performed, which influenced directly the physical deformation of each blade.

Palabras clave

Scalpel blade, rheology, deformation, (Mesh Database).

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