US 3618609 A
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United States Patent  Inventors Arthur Glick Danbury; Sol Singer-man, Norwalk, both 01 Conn.  Appl. No. 887,523  Filed Dec. 23, 1969  Patented Nov. 9, 1971  Assignee American Cyanamld Company Stamford, Conn.
 BRAIDED ABSORBENT MATERIAL 3 Claims, 2 Drawing Figs.  U.S. Cl 128/296, 15/160, 128/269  1nt.Cl. A611 13/00  Field of Search 128/267, 269, 285, 296, 357; 15/159-160, 171, 206 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,516,454 11/1924 Norton 128/269 Primary Examiner-Charles F. Rosenbaum Attorneys-Samuel Branch Walker and William Kaufman ABSTRACT: A process is provided for removing body fluids from an area under surgery which comprises contacting the fluid with a brush comprising a core of continuous monofilament hydrophilic fibers, each of said fibers having a denier between about 1.5 and 10 surrounded by a braided sheath of multifilament yarn, said yarn having a denier in the range of about 100 to about 2,400.
PATENTEU NEW 91971 m H Y wM 5 mam M W G 0 N T U 7 BRAIDED ABSORBENT MATERIAL This invention relates to a capillary brush for use in surgery to absorb fluids. More particularly, the present invention relates to a lint-free capillary brush which is useful for removing body fluids especially during surgery in such sensitive areas as the eye.
Fluids, including blood, which tend to accumulate in areas undergoing surgery, interfere with efl'icient performance of the surgical technique, and must be removed in a manner so as not to injure the patient. There are available at the present time a wide variety of methods and surgical instruments employed to remove fluids from the situs of operation. it is common practice to employ absorbent sponges which are contacted with the fluid. When the sponge is saturated, it is replaced with a fresh sponge. In most instances, the use of a sponge or other soft absorbent material is preferred over mechanical means for removing fluid to materially reduce the probability of lacerations and/or hematoma of exposed organs. Sponges or apparatus having sponge material thereon are most commonly employed in operations where relatively large incisions are made. In operations where small incisions are made and the operation is confined to a relatively small area of the body, such as in eye operations, it is preferred to employ absorbent materials which are softer and less abrasive than sponges to further reduce the probability of damage to the area of the body being treated. Cotton swabs are widely used in operations where the fluid accumulation is not excessive and where the operation is confined to a small area. However, certain disadvantages are associated with the use of cotton even through it is highly absorbent. Thus, cotton swabs are comprised of small fibers and when they become saturated with liquid and are removed, lint is usually left behind. When lint is allowed to remain, the healing process is inhibited and infection may result. Thus, the lint must be continually removed as, for example, with warm saline washes during and after completion of the operation. This extends the time needed to complete surgery and together with the additional cleaning steps, increases the probability of injury to the patient. It, therefore, would be highly desirable to provide a means for removing liquid during surgery which will not cause injury to the patient and which does not leave a lint residue after being removed from the surgical area.
it is an object of the present invention to provide means which overcome the disadvantages described above.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an article adapted to remove fluid from the situs of surgical operations which does not leave a lint residue after being removed.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide means for removing fluid from the situs of the surgical operation without causing damage to the area being originally treated. Further objects of this invention will become evident in view of the following detailed discussion.
in accordance with the present invention, there is provided an absorbent lint-free surgical brush adapted to remove fluid from the area of surgical operation. The brush comprises a core of highly absorbent monofilament fibers surrounded by a braided sheath prepared of the same or different fibers. The core is comprised of low twist, relatively high denier, hydrophilic monofilament fibers which may be formed as tightly packed separate parallel fibers or they may be twisted, woven or braided. The sheath is made of multifilament yarns comprised of monofilaments whose individual denier is the same or lower than the core fibers by braiding the yarn around the fibers of the core. The sheath can be made of either hydrophobic or hydrophilic polymeric materials, and can be treated along a portion of its length to increase its rigidity.
The capillary brush of this invention is employed to remove fluids from the area of surgical operations by contacting the fluid in the surgical area with the exposed cross section of the core. The hydrophilic filaments in the core carry the fluid away from the surgical area through a portion of the length of the brush by absorption and capillary action. The portion of the brush in contact with the surgical area is extremely soft and flexible so that the probability of lacerations or hematoma is thereby reduced. The brush can be of any length to facilitate placing it in, and removing it from, the surgical area. Since all parts of the brush are made of long, continuous monofilaments, no lint is associated therewith, thereby eliminating the necessity of additional washing steps during the operation to remove lint and reducing the probability of injury of the patient.
The core of the brush can be made of any hydrophilic polymeric material which can be formed into continuous monofilament fibers. To form the core, it is necessary to employ monofilament fibers having an individual denier between about 1.5 and about 10 in order to provide the desired softness and flexibility and to provide a relatively high rate of removal of fluid from the surgical area through absorption and capillary action. The fibers in the core are compacted so that a relatively large number of fibers are confined in a given area. Generally, the core should contain more than about 750 fibers and preferably, more than about 1,000 fibers, so that the liquid is removed from the situs of surgery at a relatively rapid rate.
The sheath is prepared by braiding multifilament yarn composed of continuous monofilaments around the core. The multifilament yarn may be spun from any hydrophilic or hydrophobic polymer such as the cellulosics, polyethylene, polypropylene, the vinyl polymers such as polyvinyl-chloride, or the like. Standard braiding equipment can be employed for this purpose. The sheath can be conveniently formed by braiding yarns having a denier of from about to about 2,400 around the core. Preferably, the braid should be formed employing from about 8 to about 24 carriers and should contain about 40 to about 60 picks per inch. Although the braided sheath can have a total denier greater or less than the total denier of the core, it is considered preferable to employ a braided sheath exhibiting a total denier higher than that of the core. Generally, the weight ratio of the sleeve to the core can vary from about 0.25:! to about 3:1. Preferably, the weight ratio ranges from about 1.5:1 to about 3:1.
The capillary brush of this invention can have a diameter of any size suitable to permit entry thereof into the surgical area. Generally, the diameter of the brush varies between about 0.008 and 0.25 inch. The capillary brush is especially suitable for removing the humor which accumulates during eye operations.
In a further aspect of the present invention, the sheath is braided from thermoplastic filaments and can be rigidified along at least a portion of its length, by heating to fuse and shrink the filaments in the sheath. Alter being heat-treated, the sheath can function as a handle for placing the end of the brush into the surgical area. The heat treatment can be accomplished by rolling the outer surface of the sheath across a hot plate which is heated to a temperature which fuses or shrinks the sheath, without causing damage thereto. During the heat treatment, care should be taken so that the core is not heated to a sufficiently high temperature to effect shrinkage or fusion of the core fibers.
Suitable polymeric materials which can be employed to form the core are hydrophilic polymers such as viscose rayon, acetates, polyamides and the like. These polymeric materials are commercially available as continuous multifilament yarns of the desired denier.
As stated above, the filaments employed to form the sheath can be either hydrophilic or hydrophobic. When it is desired to employ hydrophilic materials to increase the absorbency of the brush, any of the hydrophilic materials employed for the core can be used. 0n the other hand, it may be desired to form the sheath from a hydrophobic material to maintain the outer sheath surface dry and thereby promote convenient handling of the brush. Suitable hydrophobic materials are polyethylene, polypropylene, poly(vinyl chloride), polyesters and the like.
The invention is described below with reference to the attached drawings.
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a brush formed by a core of monofilaments surrounded by a braided sheath.
FIG. 2 is the brush construction of FIG. 1 in which a portion of the sheath has been heat-treated to form the rigid handle.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the capillary brush is comprised of a braided sheath 1 prepared from polymeric multifilament yarns which are either hydrophilic or hydrophobic and a core 2 prepared from monofilarnent fibers of hydrophilic polymer. In use, the exposed end 3 of core 2 is contacted with the fluid, the removal of which is desired. The liquid is passed by absorbency and capillary action from the end 3 into the body of the core 2 away from the surgical area.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the carrier brush is comprised of a sheath having a flexible braided portion 4 and a rigid heatfused portion 5 and a core 2 comprised of untwisted or lowtwist fibers. The end 3 of the core 2 is contacted with the fluid in the manner described above with reference to the brush in FIG. 1.
The following examples illustrate the present invention and are not intended to limit the same.
EXAMPLES 1-3 Method of Making Absorbent Brush Viscose rayon was wound onto braider bobbins to form the braided sheath. The wound bobbins were placed on braiding carriers (carry bobbins) which braid around the core material that travels through the center of the braider.
The following table sets forth the construction of three different brushes, all formed with cores comprising viscose rayon monofilaments, in terms of the type of braider (carrier capacity), number of carriers employed for the braided sheath, denier of the yam/carrier, total denier of the core:
TABLE I Type braider Number Denier of Total Total (carrier carriers yam in denier denier Example capacity) employed sheath of core of brush v In a similar manner. smaller sized brushes are prepared by using yarns of lower denier with a smaller capacity braider, e.g., an 8 carrier braider.
EXAMPLE 4 Method of Preparing Absorbent Brush with Fused Sheath An absorbent brush with a fused sheath was prepared employing the procedure described in example 1 except that denier multifilament polyethylene yarn was substituted for the viscose rayon yarn. Fusion of the sheath yarn was achieved by rolling the cut brush across a hot plate maintained at about C. until the sheath noticeably shrank and fused.
EXAMPLES 5-9 Employing the procedure set forth in example 1, absorbent brushes were prepared as summarized in table II below:
TABLE n nier Total Total Type Number of f ilafila- Total Weight Exbraider carriers yarn ments merits Total denier ratio am- (carrier emin in in core of sheath ple capacity) ployed sheath sheath core denier brush core 5 l6 16 I50 640 900 5.400 7.800 0.44511 6 16 16 900 2,400 1.200 .200 21.600 1.99:1 7 l6 lb 900 2.400 1.500 9,000 23.400 1.621 8 l6 16 900 2.400 900 5.400 19.800 2.66:1 9 l6 I6 900 2.400 2.400 14.400 28,800 I:l
These brushes were successfully employed to remove body fluids during surgical procedures without causing lacerations and/or hematoma of exposed organs.
What is claimed is:
1. A lint-free brush useful for absorbing body fluids comprising a core formed from continuous monofilament, hydrophilic fibers, each of said fibers having a denier between about 1.5 and about 10, and a braided sheath surrounding said core comprised of multifilament yarn, said yarn having a denier in the range of from about 100 to about 2,400.
2. The brush of claim 1 wherein the fibers are produced from viscose rayon.
3. The brush of claim 1 wherein the fibers of the sheath are fused to each other along at least a part of the length of the brush to provide a rigid section to serve as a brush handle.
4 l II