||January 1, 2002
A novel chemical treatment that significantly reduces the allergenicity of natural rubber is described. The patented process is based on protein cross-linking technology similar to that used in xenograph heart valve treatment. Process parameters of pH, concentration, temperature, and treatment time are closely controlled to achieve maximum allergen reduction without affecting biocompatibility and mechanical performance. The process can be incorporated into dipped rubber article manufacturing lines as well as used to treat molded, dipped, and extruded articles after fabrication. The application of the process to treat raw latex at the plantation site is discussed.