Safe and efficient sterilization of biohazardous materials
- Unique effluent sterilization process
- A variety of barrier options
- Ergonomic and user-friendly
Biocontainment suites have unique needs for maintaining the integrity of the containment area to protect the research, staff, and outside environment. Because of the pathogenic nature of material handled in BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities, sterilizers are used as a barrier between containment areas. GEB Steam Sterilizers are engineered specifically for supporting these unique workflows. They work with biocontainment facility design and processes to ensure the safe and efficient handling of biohazardous materials.
Effective effluent treatment
Containment presents several challenges on sterilization system design.
With GEB Steam Sterilizers, air is initially evacuated from the secure chamber through a sterile membrane filter. The filter is sterilized together with the load during a sterilization process; an optional second filter can be installed for added security. Condensate is collected and deactivated during sterilization.
Optional automatic in-line water intrusion testing (WIT) ensures the integrity of the filter system.
Reliable process control
When handling toxic and pathogenic waste material in life science applications, decontamination process control and reliability is crucial. The control systems accurately handle tasks such as parameter setting, recipe handling, sequence control, data processing, batch reporting, and storage. The sterilizers are controlled using an intuitive HMI touchscreen panel; operators may select the appropriate process and adjust parameters (Supervisor restricted). During the process, the operator receives clear feedback of process status, alarms, and process time remaining — all clearly visible from a distance.
In addition to Getinge’s standard control system, Siemens or Allen Bradley are available options.
Construction and design
Sectional jacket adds chamber strength
The robot-welded sectional jacket provides strength and rigidity to the chamber to ensure a long-lasting product investment. The jacket also assists with chamber preheating, reducing condensate, and accelerating chamber heating to improve operational efficiency.
Pressure transducers and gauges are isolated from the chamber by sanitary diaphragms. This eliminates the risk of microorganisms multiplying in the stagnant water that accumulates in capillary piping.
Isolating valves and injection ports
By isolating valves and chemical injection ports, technicians can safely change filters and maintain the drain piping system.
Safe material transfer in BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities
Routine transfer of materials into, out of, and within contained areas represents a key challenge for BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities. Accidents resulting in pathogen contamination or exposure impacts more than just research within the laboratory. Compromised containment at any infectious disease facility awakens concerns about biosafety procedures.
The impact of procedural failings can potentially affect humans, animals, and agriculture. This paper details how biosafety officers, laboratory owners, architects, laboratory planning teams, and purchasing managers can strengthen the safety of BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities.
A variety of barrier options
Sterilizers are used as a pass-through between zones in biocontainment applications. In this application, they are also an integral part of the building containment system. Typically, a double door chamber is sealed to the wall to form a barrier between zones of different classifications in environments with the highest containment requirements.
Getinge offers solutions suitable for all types of biocontainment applications, from traditional air differential barriers to a bioseal that guarantees an air tight seal in BSL3/4 environments.
The cross-contamination barrier (CCB) is an air differential barrier designed to prevent cross-contamination between the work space and the technical area of the sterilizer. A solid stainless steel flange is welded at the end of the sterilizer. Stainless steel panels are provided to extend the welded flange to adjacent walls, ceiling, and floor. The panels are then anchored; all seams are filled with silicone to form the barrier.
A complete bioseal
The complete sealing arrangement and wall frame provide an airtight seal, capable of preventing passage of airborne microorganisms from the “hot” to the “cold” side. The bioseal combines a stainless steel flange welded to the autoclave chamber, a stainless steel flange integrated in the building wall, and a rubber gasket as a seal between the two.
One main challenge with barriers is to verify and show that the integrity is maintained over time. Getinge has developed the patented double bioseal to overcome this problem. The double bioseal adds a second rubber gasket. The two rubber gaskets form a defined volume and provide redundancy while also introducing an air tightness integrity test. The air tightness test is performed by applying pressure in the volume between the rubber gaskets and measuring pressure decay.
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Safe, reliable decontamination in biocontainment facilities