What is sterilisation?

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In this article, we detail what sterilisation is, and how Sychem can help your facility.

Sterilisation is a process designed to kill all types of micro-organisms including viruses, bacteria and resistant bacterial spores, but is not necessarily effective against prions (i.e. the causative agents of CJD).

Because it is not possible to ensure detection of all organisms on a device, the term sterile can be used when the potential bio-burden (the number of organisms on a device) has been reduced such that there is less than one in a million chance of any surviving (this can be expressed mathematically as a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10-6 or 1:1 000 000).

Moist heat (steam) sterilisation

Steam sterilisation is the most commonly used sterilisation process within healthcare facilities. Moist heat sterilisation has a long history and employs the sterilant of choice for good reasons: moist heat sterilisation is reliable and effective; the process variables are well understood and characterised. Moist heat denatures the proteins present in the microorganisms, facilitating destruction.

The main attributes of steam sterilisation are:

• It is low in cost and easy to produce.
• It requires relatively simple technology and therefore easy-to-use.
• it leaves no chemical residues or by-products behind.
• It is non-toxic.
• Sterilisation cycles are shorter than other methods.

The fantastic point to note with regards to this process, is that it can be easily monitored, controlled, and validated throughout.

At Sychem we offer a comprehensive range of steam sterilising autoclaves for use in a variety of industries; including healthcare, biomedical facilities, and laboratories. For more information on our complete range please visit our online shop, or to discuss your sterilisation requirements in more detail, please call us on 08456446824 or email us at [email protected] and a member of our team will guide you through the best options for your application.

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