Article Text

Download PDFPDF
An experimental study on the effect of encircling band procedure on silicone oil emulsification
  1. D J de Silva1,
  2. K S Lim1,2,
  3. W E Schulenburg1
  1. 1Western Eye Hospital, Marylebone Road, London, UK
  2. 2Ocular Repair and Regeneration Biology Unit and Department of Pathology, Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: MrW E Schulenburg Consultant in Ophthalmology, Western Eye Hospital, Marylebone Road, London NW1 5YE, UK;


Aim: Silicone oil is a useful tamponading material used in complex vitroretinal surgery. However, the use of silicone oil is associated with emulsification which can lead to vision threatening complications. The authors developed an experimental model to study the effect of encircling band on silicone oil emulsification.

Methods: Two identical artificial eye chambers were constructed with circumferential indentations placed at the sphere’s equator (mimicking an encircling band indentation), and filled with varying amounts of Silicone Oil 1000 centistrokes (Adato, Bausch and Lomb, UK) and balanced salt solution. The chambers were then placed on a horizontal rotating shaker, mimicking physiological saccadic eye movements, which spun the chambers at 100 Hz for 5 days at 37°C. Emulsification was then quantified by dark field microscopy, digital photography, and manual counting by a masked observer.

Results: The mean (standard deviation (SD)) values of silicone emulsification bubbles were as follows: in the 90% silicone oil filled chamber with no encircling band, 139.1 (SD 313.4); in the 90% silicone oil filled chamber with encircling band, 10.9 (SD 22.2) (p<0.0001); in the 75% silicone oil filled chamber with no encircling band, 103.6 (SD 272.6); in the 75% silicone oil filled chamber with encircling band, 18.5 (SD 32), (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The emulsification of silicone oil results from friction between the silicone oil and aqueous liquids. The results from this study suggest silicone oil emulsification is reduced by (1) more complete silicone oil fill and (2) indentation from an encircling band. The authors hypothesise that both these measures resulted in reduced emulsification by reducing silicone oil/aqueous movement and resulting shearing forces.

  • silicone oil
  • emulsification
  • encircling band

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Sponsor details: none.

  • Competing interests: none declared