Development of emulsification resistant heavier-than-water tamponades using high molecular weight silicone oil polymers

J Biomater Appl. 2015 Aug;30(2):212-20. doi: 10.1177/0885328215575623. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Purpose: Developing new blends of heavier-than-water silicone oil tamponade agents containing high molecular weight polydimethylsiloxane polymer for use in vitreoretinal surgery.

Materials and methods: The viscoelastic properties of heavier-than-water silicone oil blends (30.5% F6H8 + 69.5% polydimethylsiloxane) containing high molecular weight polymer additive at increasing concentrations were measured using a controlled-stress rheometer (TA Instruments Rheolyst AR 1000 N). Emulsification of the blends was induced using a sonication device and a pluronic surfactant as a strong emulsifier. The percentage emulsion area was photographed and measured using ImageJ software. In a second in vitro emulsification assessment, silicone oil blends were dispersed using a high shear homogenizer and the oil-in-water droplets were counted using a coulter counter particle analyser.

Results: The addition of the high molecular weight polymer increased shear viscosity and viscoelasticity of the oil blends, which were measureable and to some extent predictable. The in vitro emulsification models produced contradictory results. This demonstrates the difficulty of designing and using in vitro models to evaluate the emulsification tendency of tamponade agents in vivo.

Conclusion: Addition of a high molecular weight polymer to heavy silicone oil can increase the viscoelasticity. These findings might contribute to the development of emulsification resistant heavy silicone oils.

Keywords: Ophthalmology; emulsification; retinal detachment; silicone oil; tamponade.

MeSH terms

  • Emulsions*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Rheology
  • Silicone Oils / chemistry*
  • Water / chemistry


  • Emulsions
  • Polymers
  • Silicone Oils
  • Water