Optical fibers with different types of polymer coatings were exposed to three sterilization conditions: multiple autoclaving, treatment with ethylene oxide and treatment with gamma rays. Effects of different sterilization techniques on key optical and mechanical properties of the fibers are reported. The primary attention is given to behavior of the coatings in harsh sterilization environments. The following four coating/buffer types were investigated: (i) dual acrylate, (ii) polyimide, (iii) silicone/PEEK and (iv) fluoroacrylate hard cladding/ETFE.
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