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Technical & Practical

August 15, 2008

Novel and Conventional Approaches to Sterilization

Henry A. Baez and Nada M. Assaf-Anid, Manhattan College

The inactivation and elimination of bacteria are pressing issues in the chemical process industries (CPI) where high-purity conditions are needed. High accuracy in ensuring sterility is vital due to the serious implications of having products come in contact with contaminated equipment. For the past fifty years, three main forms of sterilization have been implemented in the pharmaceutical and medical industries. In recent years, technological advances have resulted in great strides in sterilization research. This article examines several methods of sterilization and compares their beneficial and detrimental attributes. While focus is given to the pharmaceutical and medical industries, the processes discussed are applicable to any industry where high-purity conditions are required.
Each type of sterilization produces desirable results for its respective process parameters. While the main three — moist-heat, radiation and ethylene oxide sterilization — have been around for over half century [ 1], there has been a recent push for more novel approaches to aseptic processing....

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