While plasma was discovered in 1928 and is the 4th state’ of matter, the idea of plasma sterilization was proposed in the sixties as a good, low toxicity method for the use of medical care staff. Today a plasma sterilizer has potential as an antimicrobial sterilization procedure and is sought after not only in the medical industry, but also in agricultural and other industrial settings. An advantage with a plasma sterilizer is the shallow penetration of gas plasmas which eliminates damage to the material being sterilized.
Scientists have estimated that more than 99% of the matter in the universe exists in the plasma state. Most stars are filled with plasma, an ionized state of matter similar to gas. Plasma doesn’t have a definite shape, but unlike liquid or gas, its shape can change when under the influence of a magnetic field. In our day-to-day lives, plasma is found in some television screens, in fluorescent light bulbs, in neon signs and it can be made in a laboratory.
Quicker, more Thorough Plasma Sterilization
Plasma sterilization was started in 1968 because of the need to ensure that instruments are properly cleaned to avoid infection. Where ethylene oxide is used to sterilize medical instruments, the cycle can take about 8 to 16 hours. If plasma is used however, the cycle will take about 45 to 75 minutes for both wrapped and dry instruments and devices. After this time the products will be ready for use. One of the benefits about this sterilization type is the lower temperatures of sterilization. Temperatures are maintained at 104-122F or 40-50 C range which helps to ensure the delicate instruments of today are not damaged, gas plasma sterilization is typically used before surgery so as to sterilize the like of implants for instance. Plasma is able to inactivate most pathogens, and today low-pressure plasma sterilizers are commercially offered in the market.
Sterilization that Meets Required Criteria
In the 1st century with burgeoning populations, the risk levels of fungi has been increased in food safety, health and in agriculture, and efficient, long-lasting control tools for contaminants are needed. In modern times, the process of sterilization is becoming more and more complex and the risk of error is increased. Plasma has been researched, tested and explored and satisfies all this criteria for sterilization, and operators of the sterilizer simply selects the desired cycle and sterilization information about the cycle stages are displayed on the touch screen. Many studies have shown that plasma treatment can efficiently inactivate fungi and sterilize crop seeds, human tissues, various instruments foods and paper.
With plasma sterilization, you get low thermal loads, no dangerous toxic agents are used, no follow-up treatments will be necessary and there won’t be any formation of toxic products during sterilization, showing that the plasma sterilizer complies with every requirement expected of it and is a fast and safe way to Sterilize.