What methods of sterilisation are there?

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, sterilisation refers to the process of making something free from bacteria or other living microorganisms. Effective sterilisation techniques are essential for maintaining a sterile environment within many industries, such as sterilising healtchcare, laboratory and life science equipment.

So, what methods of sterilisation are there?

The 2 most common forms of sterilisation include creating a hot and dry or a hot and wet environment.

• DRY HEAT (Bake/Flame) Leading to Dry Heat Oxidation of the microorganism
• WET HEAT (Steam Steriliser Autoclave) Leading to Steam Coagulation of the micro-organisms

However, both these forms of sterilisation can lead to damage of the instrument, especially when dealing with complicated or technologically advanced equipment. Hence, a form of low-temperature sterilisation is required such as creating a Plasma-low temperature Chemical reaction. Plasma sterilises via a process called ‘Oxidation’. A chemical reaction is created in which all microorganisms are deactivated. One type of plasma is called Hydrogen Peroxide. The advantages of using Hydrogen Peroxide are:

• No chemical residues
• Safe to handle
• Environmentally safe
• Short Aeration time

Ethylene Oxide Chemical reaction

Ethylene Oxide is a toxic gas that leaves no residue on items it contacts. Therefore, ethylene oxide is used as a surface disinfectant in hospitals and the medical equipment industry to replace steam in the sterilisation of heat-sensitive tools and equipment, such as disposable plastic syringes.
Links to related products:

Autoclaves

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