Germgard's room-temperature surgical instrument sterilizer achieves three-minute cycle time
20 August 2009
Germgard Lighting LLC, a New Jersey-based medical technology company, has demonstrated a breakthrough advancement of its gas-based, room-temperature surgical instrument sterilization system.
An independent testing laboratory is consistently achieving 100% kill of Geobacillus stearothermophilus, the standard spore used for testing surgical instrument sterilizers. The tests employ a single, three-minute cycle, including preparation. The inactivation remains at 100% after 7 days of controlled observation, hence is fully compatible with a single cycle.
Germgard continues to optimize the process, confidently expecting no more than an unprecedented double cycle of six minutes total time for lumen devices such as endoscopes and for Prion inactivation on neurological tools.
Reduced cycle time and room-temperature sterilization are important since they reduce instrument damage, shorten inventory turnaround time and reduce the number of necessary equipment operators — critical considerations for efficiency and ongoing cost savings.
The total cycle time for the process is so much shorter than for steam sterilization or any room-temperature, gas-based sterilizer process that Germgard expects that current technologies will become obsolete and be supplanted by Germgard's system.
The proprietary gas medium used for sterilization is unlike any in current use and is safe, easy-to-use and short-lived, disappearing before the exposure pouch is opened. The system can be fully automated, requiring no high-temperature presoak, no instrument pre-wrapping by technicians, no cool-down period and no time lost for drying or special handling. It is expected to be suitable for all surgical instruments.
According to Germgard's CEO, Dr. Eugene I. Gordon, "Commercialization and implementation of our solution will positively impact large healthcare facilities, central service facilities, military field hospitals, emergency response providers, ambulatory surgical centers, pharmaceutical R and D and laboratory practice.
"Overall, it will significantly lower the cost and increase the safety of healthcare worldwide. Germgard's system, the fastest and simplest in the world by far, is also ideal and uncompromising for all surgical venues, including flash sterilization and in-house sterilization of new surgical instruments by manufacturers.
"It will resolve the persistent issues of instrument size, speed, efficacy, cost and instrument damage that have plagued instrument sterilization in hospitals, clinics, private practices and laboratories."
Gordon adds, "Deployment of our easy-to-use and ultra-fast sterilization system will provide one of the least expensive, quickest-to-implement and most effective means for healthcare facilities and instrument manufacturers to immediately lower operating costs and inventory. It is so radical that it constitutes an unprecedented breakthrough in the technology."
Germgard Lighting LLC is funded by private investment and grants and is located in a NJ Commission for Science and Technology-supported innovation incubator on the campus of the U.S. Army Picatinny Arsenal. Its technology pipeline enables a multi-tiered approach to infection prevention that includes cost-effective bare and gloved hand sanitation for minimizing hospital acquired infection, medical instrument sterilization and air sterilization.
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