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Subject: Storing a fibrin bandage

Storing a fibrin bandage

From: Mary T. Baker <mtbaker>
Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Alan J. Hawk <hawk [at] afip__osd__mil> writes

>We are interested in collecting a fibrin bandage for the National
>Museum of Health and Medicine.  It is made from human blood proteins
>on a mesh and it is extremely hydroscopic.  It cannot be exposed to
>any moisture or oxygen or it will deteriorate.  We are interested in
>suggestions on materials for a container to store and possibly
>display the artifact over the long term. What plastics or other
>materials have an extremely low transmittibility of moisture?

I would want some more details about the storage/display/access
expectations before giving specific advice on
oxygen-free/moisture-free storage of an object.  However, in
general, foil/plastic film sandwich products (such as MarvelSeal)
can be used to exclude both moisture and oxygen. These work best for
long-term storage, but access is not difficult. They are not usually
useful for display.

Higher access storage or display would require some further
information. In general, acrylics are not good barriers to either
moisture or oxygen. PET is a good oxygen barrier, PP and PE are good
moisture barriers; both can be sealed fairly easily, but neither are
easily used for display. Polycarbonate is hard to work with and very
expensive, but is a good barrier (for both moisture and oxygen) and
can make a good display container (it is very hard to make it
easily-accessed without sacrificing the barrier properties,
however).

Oxygen absorbers and moisture absorbers would be advised, as well as
flushing with dry, inert gases.  These all require some experience,
however; if you haven't worked with them, you might want to contact
someone who has (I can put you in contact with someone if no one in
the DC area replies to your message).

Mary T. Baker
Associate Professor in Chemistry
American University in Cairo
Conservation Associates - "Materials Scientists To The Rescue"
+20-2-358-3805 (Egypt) - direct phone
Mailing Address:Chemonics International, Egypt/MVE
1133 20th Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC  20035
Shipping Address: 24, Road 20
Maadi, Cairo Egypt


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:21
                  Distributed: Friday, August 31, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-21-002
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 29 August, 2001

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