Many of today’s smaller surgical clinics have to sterilize equipment in-house, and autoclave sensitive instruments are processed using ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic, explosive, and irritating gas. Gas plasma is another low temperature option, but it requires large and expensive equipment that doesn’t make sense for small practices.
A new company called Plasmapp has developed small gas plasma sterilizers that are fast, affordable, and can be placed in any size clinic. Moreover, they don’t require special training or certifications to operate.
Gas plasma sterilization has been around for a long time and helps extend the life of sensitive instruments like handpieces, minimally invasive devices, batteries, and just about anything that should not be sterilized using high pressure steam.
Already approved for sale in a number of European and Asian countries, though not yet the U.S., the Plasmapp STERLINK FPS and STERLINK Mini use the company’s Linear Jet Plasma Source (LJPS) technology, a novel vaporizer, and patented pouches to produce on-demand cycle times when
required (as fast as 7 minutes). The full chamber mode of their FPS device
is a 36 minute cycle and many instruments can be sterilized at once since nearly all of the space is usable.
We spoke to a Plasmapp representative who believes their FDA green light will come before the end of 2019. Currently, STERLINK is available to veterinarians in the United States. The firm designed the equipment for dental, ophthalmology, and veterinary practices while benchmarking against the long usage history of the technology in large human hospitals.