Detection of lens proteins in phaco tips after phacoemulsification

R M M A Nuijts, M Van Boekel, H Bloemendal, F Hiddema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    PURPOSE: To determine the efficacy of cleaning procedures to remove water-soluble and water-insoluble lens proteins from phaco tips after phacoemulsification.

    SETTING: Academic Hospital Maastricht, Department of Ophthalmology, University Eye Clinic, and Rotterdam Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    METHODS: Detection of alpha A-crystallins, cytoskeletal lens proteins (vimentin), and lens-cell membranes (MP26) was performed on new and reused phaco tips with specific markers. To detect antibodies, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting techniques were used.

    RESULTS: Threshold detection levels for alpha A-crystallins, vimentin, and MP26 were 100, 43, and 108 ng, respectively. No detectable residues of water-soluble or water-insoluble lens proteins were found in outflow samples of routinely cleaned phaco tips or in outflow samples of phaco tips that were not cleaned after phacoemulsification. Urea effectively eliminated water-insoluble lens proteins from contaminated phaco tips.

    CONCLUSION: After regular cleaning of phaco tips, no detectable lens protein residues were found in the outflow samples. Moreover, omitting the cleaning of phaco tips after phacoemulsification did not lead to detectable lens proteins in the outflow samples.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1510-4
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


    • Animals
    • Aquaporins
    • Biomarkers/analysis
    • Cattle
    • Disinfection/methods
    • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
    • Equipment Contamination/prevention & control
    • Eye Proteins/analysis
    • Lens, Crystalline/chemistry
    • Membrane Glycoproteins
    • Phacoemulsification/instrumentation
    • Phosphoproteins/analysis
    • Vimentin/analysis


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