Using Ultrasound To Clean Medical Instruments

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments
The StarStream device. (Credit:
University of Southampton)
Researchers have demonstrated how a pioneering ultrasonic device can significantly improve the cleaning of medical instruments and reduce contamination and risk of infection. The research was published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
 
StarStream, in commercial production by Ultrawave Ltd., makes water more efficient for cleaning by creating tiny bubbles which automatically scrub surfaces. The device supplies a gentle stream of water through a nozzle that generates ultrasound and bubbles, which dramatically improve the cleaning power of water reducing the need for additives and heating.
 
Using just cold water, StarStream was able to remove biological contamination, including brain tissue from surgical steel. Cleaning instruments between patients is critical to avoid transmission of agents leading to conditions such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. It was also able to remove bacterial biofilms that typically cause dental disease and was effective at removing soft tissue from bones, which is required prior to transplants to prevent rejection of the transplanted material by the recipient's immune system.
 
"In the absence of sufficient cleaning of medical instruments, contamination and infection can result in serious consequences for the health sector and remains a significant challenge. Our highly-effective cleaning device, achieved with cold water and without the need for chemical additives or the high power consumption associated with conventional strategies, has the potential to meet this challenge and transform the sector," the researchers concluded.
 
Based on material originally posted by University of Southampton.