Last updated on June 7th, 2023 at 05:35 pm
With the emergence of new viruses causing dangerous diseases, it is now more important than ever to sterilize all your items wherever you are. Sterilization helps to destroy or remove all the microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi, that might lead to a health hazard. However, not all sterilization methods are effective. The efficiency of any sterilization method majorly depends on the product, contamination, and the product’s preparation process.
Whatever solution you use for sterilization has to be approved for the product or material. The method has to thoroughly sterilize the product or service without having any adverse change to the product. Also, you have to follow the right processes to ensure the process goes on flawlessly. Failure to follow the instructions might deteriorate or fail to sterilize the item. Here are four approved solutions for your sterilization needs.
Heating in an Autoclave
Also known as steam sterilization, this method involves subjecting the microorganisms to saturated steam under pressure. The technique uses a particular machine, the autoclave. An autoclave helps to apply the moist heat under pressure which helps to kill the microorganisms. You can get yourself an autoclave for sale, which you can use at home or in your business. The organisms get destroyed through the irreversible method with this device, killing the enzymes and the structural proteins.
The denaturalization temperature mostly depends on the water content available on the product. This situation means that you have to control the temperature, time, and pressure to ensure the item is thoroughly sterilized. Autoclave sterilization is primarily used in aqueous preparations, surgical dressings, and when sterilizing medical devices.
Dry Heat Sterilization
The process involves the oxidation of the cell constituents. The process requires a hotter temperature than the moist heat, which must be exposed for a long time. The method is most applicable for heat-stable and non-aqueous materials since they cannot get sterilized through steam due to their lack of penetration. Some of these materials include oils, powders, glassware, and some oil-based Injectables.
Mostly, it’s the temperature that decides the number of minutes the material should be exposed to the heat. For instance, a 160°C will require the material to be exposed for 180 minutes, while a 180°C the material needs exposure for only 30 minutes.
The oven needs exposure to a forced-air system to ensure all the material surfaces are exposed to the heat. The temperatures need to be controlled to achieve the desired sterilization. If in a closed container, it needs to be closed through aseptic techniques to avoid microbial recontamination.
Exposure to Ionizing Radiation
Ionizing radiation is a method mainly used to sterilize active ingredients, medical devices, and drugs. This sterilization gets done on the items’ final package or container by exposing them to ionizing radiation. The ionizing radiation is in gamma radiation from a suitable radioisotopic source, including the cobalt 60. The method can also use electrons from a suitable electron accelerator. However, before using this method, it is essential to follow the set rules and regulations to avoid inconveniences.
Electronic beams and gamma radiation will affect the ionization of the molecules present in the pathogens. However, as stated, this method is a bit dangerous and must be done by qualified personnel who should know how to use and monitor the equipment and processes. Failure to do so might lead to irreversible disasters.
This sterilization method uses gas such as ethylene oxide or any other highly volatile substance to sterilize surfaces and products. However, most of these substances are highly flammable and must be mixed with suitable inert gases to reduce their toxicity. This also prevents the toxic residues from remaining in the sterilized items. Since this method is a bit complicated and dangerous, it should be considered when the above methods do not apply to the specific product. Also, it must be done by qualified personnel.
Gas sterilization depends on many factors. For instance, if you are using ethylene oxide for your sterilization, you have to consider the concentration of the gas, time of exposure, temperature, humidity, and the nature of the load. The nature of the packaging must also allow the exchange of gases. You have to observe the maximum sterilization conditions to achieve the best results with this process. Also, after sterilization, you have to give the item time until confirmed safe by specific tests.
The above are some of the most commonly used methods of sterilization. While some are simple to use when with the right equipment, others will require observing all the safety measures to avoid inconveniences. Before choosing the process, you have to research if your products are supported by the sterilization method or not. Also, when buying the equipment, ensure you get it from reliable sellers.