Fluid dynamic assessment of hypersonic and guillotine vitrectomy probes in viscoelastic vitreous substitutes

Alessandro Stocchino, Irene Nepita, Rodolfo Repetto, Andrea Dodero, Maila Castellano, Mariantonia Ferrara, Mario R. Romano

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the fluidics of 23-gauge (G) large-port (L) and tear drop-port (TD) hypersonic vitrectomy probes (HVPs) compared with guillotine vitrectomy probes (GVPs) of various calibers (23G, 25G, and 27G) and geometries (single and double blades). Also, to identify the working parameters that provide the best balance between acceleration and flow rate, and, for HVPs, to measure temperature variations in the fluid. Methods: We used particle image velocimetry to measure flow fields in balanced salt solution and viscoelastic artificial vitreous. We analyzed acceleration, kinetic energy, and volumetric flux. The parameters considered were vacuum pressure, ultrasound stroke, and cut rate. Temperature measurements were taken using an infrared thermal camera. Results: The flow rate was significantly higher for HVPs than GVPs. With both probes, flow rate and acceleration increased with vacuum pressure. Flow rate depended weakly on the ultrasound stroke or cut rate. In HVPs, the acceleration peaked at a stroke of 30 μm, whereas in GVPs it peaked at a cutting rate of 4000 to 5000 cuts per minute (cpm). The HPV/TD combination generated higher flow rates and lower accelerations than did HPV/L. The increase in temperature was small. Conclusions: Under the present experimental setup and medium, HVPs offered better fluidics compared with GVPs in terms of flow and acceleration; however, the flow struc-ture for HVPs is more complicated and unsteady. The HPV/TD combination produced larger flows than did the HPV/L combination and slightly smaller accelerations. HPVs generated a small temperature increase. Translational Relevance: In the tested artificial vitreous, HVPs were found to be more efficient in terms of generating lower acceleration for a given flow rate. The slight increase in temperature observed with HVPs is unlikely to be clinically significant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow measurements
  • Fluidics of vitrectomy probes
  • Hypersonic probes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology

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