Using a vacuum system to dose Hydrogen Peroxide gas and Hydrogen Peroxide plasma to medical and surgical devices has been utilized for sterilization since the late 1980s. When Hydrogen Peroxide is dosed into a plasma machine vacuum chamber the vapor diffuses throughout the chamber and contents. Due to the disinfecting properties of Hydrogen Peroxide vapor followed by plasma generated microbicidal free radicals (e.g., hydroxyl and hydroperoxyl) sterilization can be performed effectively in most materials. Following the sterilization process the chamber can be flushed then vented with filtered air to provide good industrial hygiene for an operator.
Hydrogen peroxide vapor / plasma sterilization provides a safe, non-toxic method of sterilization. It is a dry, non-thermal process that is environmentally friendly and does not produce harmful by-products associated with other methods of sterilization. Objects that are sterilized using vapor phase Hydrogen Peroxide and plasma are completely safe to handle right away because the chamber can be vacuum flushed with filtered air to remove residues left over. This process is most often used on devices or materials that can not endure high temperatures or gamma radiation associated with many sterilization techniques associated with certain plastics, electrical devices and some metal alloys. Most commonly hydrogen peroxide plasma is used to sterilize medical devices and surgical tools.
To learn more about the use of plasma in manufacturing, please read our eBook titled "Manufacturer’s Surface Activation Guide for Improved Adhesion."