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Sterilization of surgical instruments using mini electron accelerators

: Rögner, F.-H.; Wetzel, C.; Röder, O.; Gotzmann, G.

Society of Vacuum Coaters -SVC-, Albuquerque/NM:
Society of Vacuum Coaters. 52nd Annual Technical Conference 2009. Proceedings : May 9-14, 2009, Santa Clara, CA USA
Albuquerque: SVC, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-878068-29-3
Society of Vacuum Coaters (Annual Technical Conference) <52, 2009, Santa Clara/Calif.>
Fraunhofer FEP ()
sterilization; electron beam technology; electron beam; medical technology

Electron beam technology has been used for sterilization applications for several decades. The process is accepted all over the world and complies with international standards (ISO 111-37/95). The aim of the development work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP) is to develop inline systems that can be used for sterilization applications in production processes and also in batch systems. The rapid growth in the number of elderly people, as well as modern medical technology, requires increased use of gentle and minimal invasive diagnostic methods and devices. The delicate construction of these devices makes sterilization more difficult. This is one of many reasons why much research is being undertaken into alternative conditioning processes for medical devices. The suitability of accelerated electrons for sterilization applications has been studied at the FEP. To evaluate the success of the sterilization, approved microbiological test methods have been used. In addition, studies have been carried out on the energetic and morphological changes which occur to the treated surfaces. The results of electron beam sterilization were compared to sterilization using conventional methods. The results show that electron beam technology has promise as an alternative method for the sterilization of, for example, surgical instruments and other medical products. Further studies are planned.