The medical industry maintains high and rigorous cleaning standards for all instruments used in surgery, as well as other items introduced into the body, such as medical implants. Traditionally, this has meant sterilization of items using high pressure and steam, such as in an autoclave. However, one of the issues with the most complex modern medical instruments, as well as medical implants, is the ability to sterilize intricate surfaces properly.
For example, fiber optic components, which are used in many modern medical instruments, cannot be cleaned using high pressure and steam as the heat may damage them. Furthermore, steam cleaning may not adequately reach every internal surface of the most complex instruments or medical implants. An alternative solution is required. Enter ultrasonic cleaning.
How Ultrasonic Cleaning works
Ultrasonic cleaning works by making use of cavitation, a physical effect caused by ultrasonic waves passing through a liquid and striking against an object. When these waves pass through an object, they create millions of tiny bubbles. Not being filled with air, these bubbles instantaneously collapse, producing jets of plasma energy.
These energy bursts strike against the surface of the object immersed in the liquid, dislodging grime and contaminants found there. One of the biggest advantages of ultrasonic cleaning is that it effectively and thoroughly cleans every surface of an object, even blind holes, and tiny crevices. This makes it ideal for cleaning in the medical industry.
Why use Ultrasonic cleaning in the medical industry
Because of its unique properties, ultrasonic cleaning is one of the more common methods of automatic cleaning used in the medical industry. It far surpasses other ways, such as hand-cleaning and even high-pressure steam cleaning (such as that used in autoclaves) for some applications. Ultrasonic cleaning, when properly used with the right additives, both cleans and sterilizes contaminated medical instruments. It can also effectively clean medical implants to decrease the chance of rejection of the implant.
Not only that, but ultrasonic cleaning is used at an earlier stage in the process of 3D printed medical implants, cleaning away the substrate thoroughly to produce a consistent and viable implant. As such, ultrasonic cleaning, properly used, occupies a useful niche in the medical industry.
Proper use of ultrasonic cleaning in the medical industry
One important consideration to keep in mind when adopting ultrasonic cleaning is that ultrasonic cleaning by itself does not significantly affect bacteria. However, when used with the correct disinfectants, ultrasound can act in tandem with the disinfectant to strengthen the power of the disinfectant. Ultrasonic waves and the resulting cavitation drive the disinfectant deeper into every crevice of the object being cleaned, loosen the grip of contamination on the surface of the object, and give the disinfectant additional agitation action, which makes it more effective, overall.
Find out more about how ultrasonic cleaning can benefit your medical industry operations
With operations as complex as medical cleaning, it’s important to get expert input before deciding what equipment to use. That’s where Omegasonics comes in. Our experts work with you to design ultrasonic cleaning units customized for tank size, power levels and so on, according to your specifications and needs. These same experts can not only assist you in selecting the right ultrasonic cleaning unit but help you choose the proper disinfectant or detergent you’ll need.
Want to know more about how ultrasonic cleaning is used in the medical industry? Call one of our ultrasonic experts at Omegasonics at Omegasonics@Omegasonics.com. You can also get in touch with us by filling out our online contact form.or email us at