You must have heard about sanitizer or word sterilization a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, when Covid-19 first wave hit in most of the countries, there was a high demand for sanitizers. Sanitizer is a chemical in the form of gel or liquid used to kill bacteria, microorganisms, viruses on hand. Sanitizers are mainly used to clean hands, whereas, sterilization is a more scientific method to make a product free from bacteria, viruses & viable microorganisms.
This blog post helps to understand about sterilization process in detail.
Sterilization is a process/method to eliminate or kill or destroy bacteria, microorganisms, and viruses on products like a syringe, needles, plastic/glass bottles, food packaging containers, medical devices, surgical devices to achieve sterility. Sterility means the condition of being free from bacteria, microorganisms, and viruses.
Why sterilization is essential?
Sterilization is essential for a few surgical and medical devices where it is used to collect blood samples (syringe & needles), tissue samples, enter in the vascular system, or devices where blood flows or blood is stored. Usage of non-sterile surgical instruments/devices leads to infection to the patient, the transmission of diseases like HIV, hepatitis B. Non-sterilize devices usage is also a high risk for medical professionals
Types of Sterilization
There are various scientific methods used for sterilization,
1. Chemical Sterilization
2. Radiation Sterilization
3. Heat (steam, dry heat)
7. Ultrasonic and sonic vibrations
|Method of Sterilization||Sterilization sub-type|
|Non-ionizing radiation||1. Ultraviolet|
|Ionizing radiation||1. Gamma rays|
|Chemical Agents||1. Alcohol|
5. Metallic Salts
|Physical Agents||1. Drying|
6. Ultrasonic Vibrations
|Dry Heat||Hot Air Oven Method|
1. Hot air oven
3. Red Heat
|Moist Heat||Autoclave Sterilization Process|
1. Temperature above 1000 C
2. Temperature at 1000 C
3. Temperature below 1000 C
|Filtration||1. Air Filter|
2. Membrane Filter
3. Depth Filter
The terminology used in the sterilization
- Bactericidal agents
- Bacteriostatic agents
- Sterility Acceptance Level (SAL)
- Sterilizing agent
- Test of Sterility
- Sterilization validation & verification
We hope this high-level overview of sterilization blog post helps to understand what is sterilization, its importance, and its different types.