VPHP Sterilization Systems

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the most used agents for decontamination. Vapor phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP) generated from aqueous hydrogen peroxide is effective against a wide range of microorganisms such as spores, bacteria, and viruses. VPHP has higher germicidal activity than what can be achieved with a liquid solution of hydrogen peroxide. Due to its vaporized nature, VPHP sterilization is especially suitable for large areas and rugged surfaces. VPHP releases non-toxic end products after catalytic decomposition, and is therefore more environmentally friendly than other disinfection methods. Its decomposition products are water and oxygen and leave no toxic residues on the surfaces. Because of its excellent antibacterial activity and non-toxic decomposition residues, the VPHP is expected to replace particularly toxic, carcinogenic, and potentially explosive formaldehyde and ethylene oxide for the sterilization of heat-sensitive materials.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the advantages of VPHP sterilization technology include low temperatures, rapid cycle time, relatively good material compatibility, and ease of operation and monitoring. Vaporized hydrogen peroxide is a low temperature and highly efficient process with relatively short processing exposure times. A common method of hydrogen peroxide vapor generation is controlled solution heating under appropriate conditions to avoid decomposition of VPHP. This method enables a highly selective process by very precise control of the sterilization conditions (such as concentration of VPHP, temperature, sterilization time), so that only pathogenic microorganisms are destroyed, while normal living cells are not harmed. Therefore, this method is feasible for decontamination of the surface of living cell cultures. Hydrogen peroxide vapor at low concentrations is effective against a variety of microorganisms. It can penetrate most materials, and kill microorganisms that reside in seams and joints. VPHP can also penetrate the plastic membranes. Sterilization with VPHP can be done efficiently at low temperatures. Most polymers and adhesives used to manufacture devices cannot withstand high temperatures and the low temperatures during VPHP processing reduce damage to the materials. One of the advantages of VPHP sterilization is its low D-values, allowing short sterilization cycles, which means increased availability of chambers for additional processing and accelerated turnaround time for reprocessing devices. VPHP can be used to sterilize many reusable metal and non-metal devices used in health care facilities, but it is not suitable for processing liquids, linens, powders, or any cellulose materials.

Various decontamination techniques are used to remove biological and chemical contaminants from surfaces, and the widespread use is hindered by the toxicity of agents. VPHP is a decontamination technology with almost ideal performance. Decontamination using VPHP has become the method of choice for pharmaceutical, biomedical applications, and health care. Amerigo Scientific offers unique, easy-to-use VPHP bio-decontamination systems for a wide range of applications. These systems ensure adequate humidity to achieve a 6-log reduction without potential damage caused by excessive condensation in the space during VPHP decontamination.

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