Physiochemical properties and reproducibility of air-based sodium tetradecyl sulphate foam using the Tessari method

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The objectives were to examine the density, bubble size distribution and durability of sodium tetradecyl sulphate foam and the consistency of production of foam by a number of different operators using the Tessari method.


1% and 3% sodium tetradecyl sulphate sclerosant foam was produced by an experienced operator and a group of inexperienced operators using either a 1:3 or 1:4 liquid:air ratio and the Tessari method. The foam density, bubble size distribution and foam durability were measured on freshly prepared foam from each operator.


The foam density measurements were similar for each of the 1:3 preparations and for each of the 1:4 preparations but not affected by the sclerosant concentration. The bubble size for all preparations were very small immediately after preparation but progressively coalesced to become a micro-foam (<250 µm) after the first 30 s up until 2 min. Both the 1% and 3% solution foams developed liquid more rapidly when made in a 1:3 ratio (37 s) than in a 1:4 ratio (45 s) but all combinations took similar times to reach 0.4 ml liquid formation. For all the experiments, there was no statistical significant difference between operators.


The Tessari method of foam production for sodium tetradecyl sulphate sclerosant is consistent and reproducible even when made by inexperienced operators. The best quality foam with micro bubbles should be used within the first minute after production.

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