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Ceramic and Sapphire Knives

Ceramic and Sapphire knive blades and handles

Ceramic and sapphire micro‐dissection knives (non‐metallic scalpels) were developed during the 1970s, subsequent to Fernadez Moran's invention of the first diamond knives (~1965) for ultramicrotomy and viewing specimens in electron microscopes. These diamond knives are used to produce flawless sections 60nm thick. This technology paved the way for hand‐held ceramic and sapphire micro‐knives for finest dissection and microsurgery. These knives were first used in ophthalmology, but they have proven useful in cosmetic surgery and microsurgery as well as in the biomedical sciences, whenever finest cuts, without reactive metal ions, and least adjacent cell damage are required.

Ceramic versus sapphire knives: Our ceramic knives are produced from black, sintered zirconium dioxide. This material is of similar hardness to sapphire, but it is not transparent and more flexible. Both the ceramic and sapphire blades are very hard, and considering how fine and acute the cutting edges are, they are surprisingly durable. The ability to see through a knife sometimes is an advantage, and the sapphires are glass‐clear. Sharpened edges usually reflect light away and so appear black with either blade. However, sapphire knives, when used near horizontal (the 'round blades' are particularly suitable) are excellent for cutting in that plane with perfect vision of structures below the knife.

Handling, cleaning and sterilising: Diamond (Mohs hardness scale 10), sapphire (9) and ceramic zirconia (8.5) are among the hardest substances known. Harder materials keep a sharp edge better. However, such hard materials may be brittle and lateral pressure on the knife can snap the stone. These knives must be handled with care and the cutting edge should only ever gently touch tissues to be cut and no other solid ‐ don't test the sharpness of our knives with a finger! If a blade is perfectly handled is can give years of good service, rough, but non 'fatal' handling of a knife will fracture microscopic particles off the knife's edges resulting in bluntness well before time.

After use rinse the knife under running water. If serious contamination occurred, the knife may be soaked in weak household detergent solution and placed in an ultrasonic bath for 2 minutes. Rinse in tap and then distilled water at least 3 times. The knives may be wet autoclaved. During these procedures make sure the actual knife never touches anything solid.

ProSciTech's black ceramic zirconia scalpels are sometimes called "black diamond" scalpels because they are hard and durable, but unlike diamond, these scalpels have a modicum of flexibility which extends their life on occasions. All blades are made to most exacting standards; our photos are not retouched and demonstrate these knives' perfection. At the same time we are able to supply them at one‐third the price of similar scalpels. We don't offer a re‐sharpening service since, without even considering shipping and handling, our new scalpels are cheaper than resharpened scalpels from other suppliers. Oz and NZ customers may use our shopping cart or place an order by email or phone. Overseas customers please email enquiries ‐ we will then advise of shipping charges and produce an invoice, which can be paid via our secure link to the bank.

All handles are made of titanium and the blades are retractable.
Keep the open end free of obstructions when you push out the blade!
Telling sapphire and ceramic zirconia blades apart without a label is easy: the ceramic zirconia is black and comes with a blue titanium handle; sapphire is glass‐clear and comes with a silver‐coloured titanium handle.
Angled and large knives are in a larger diameter sheath.

All lancets are double edged, meaning the the underside and the upper side of the blade are sharpened to the edge and the profile is arrow shaped.
Single edge blade = the upper side is sharpened to the edge, the underside is flat.
Double edge blade = the underside and the upper side are sharpened, arrow shaped profile.
Measurements given in the name of the knives are the width of the blade and the angle at which the tip is cut. The thickness of the blade is given in the text.
Angled and straight refers to the mounting of the blade.

Scope of Application : Ophthalmic, microsurgical, neurological, plastic surgery, urological, ENT surgical, fine dissections and microsurgery in the biomedical sciences.

Physical & Chemical Characteristics of Sapphire Surgical Knives

  • The sapphire knife provides a superb cut, far exceeding that of a finely honed steel knife. An incision made by a sapphire knife results in significantly less damage than from a conventional steel knife, and no metal particles are left behind in the tissue, so wounds heal faster with less scarring.
  • High stability of physical and chemical properties, good biocompatibility, little effect on neural excitability, small astigmatism, neat incision, wounds healing faster with less scarring, non‐infiltration by acid and blood, corrosion resistance, effortless sterilisation.

Physical & Chemical Characteristics of Nano‐Crystalloid Ceramic Zirconia Surgical Knives
  • High hardness, density, sharpness and toughness
  • Black blade, no reflection ensures good visualisation
  • Good biocompatibility
  • Non‐infiltration by acid and blood, corrosion resistance, effortless sterilisation.
  • No metal particles left in the tissue
SpecificationsDiamondCeramic ZirconiaSapphireStainless Steel
Mohs hardness108.596.5
Viscosity (Mpa/M)610‐123‐4 
Curvature 1200‐1600300‐500 
Frictional coefficient (Kr)0.350.10.44 

Note: The dimensions in the diagrams are given in mm.

Ceramic Zirconium blade
Sapphire blade
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