Optical fibers and terminations were subjected to different sterilization techniques, including multiple autoclaving and treatments with peracetic acid, E-beam and UV radiation. Effects of different sterilization techniques on key optical and mechanical properties of the fibers and the terminations were revealed. The primary attention was given to behavior of the coatings on the fibers and adhesives used in the terminations in harsh sterilization environments. The optical fibers with following four coating/buffer types were investigated: (i) dual acrylate, (ii) polyimide, (iii) silicone/PEEK and (iv) fluoroacrylate hard cladding/ETFE.
Keywords: Optical fiber, coating, termination, medical, sterilization, autoclave, peracetic acid, e-beam, UV radiation, epoxy adhesive, polyimide, silicone, PEEK