Thursday, 7 March 2013

Pulsed UV sterilisation tunnels

An interesting alternative to the dry heat tunnel (for sterilization, rather than depyrogenation).

SteriBeam Systems has introduced fully automated in-line pulsed UV sterilization tunnels for pilot and production lines in the biomedical, food and pharmaceutical industries.

The Kehl am Rhein, Germany based company has equipped the tunnels with intense pulsed UV flash lamps, and they feature a UV transparent conveyor with adjustable speed. They are capable of up to 6 log sterilization of the entire product surface.

The pulsed UV exposures can be set from an interactive display by installing pulse bursts with selected pulsed energy and a number of pulses for each product. It can sterilize surfaces of open products and also products wrapped in UV transparent foils at the rate of up to 1,000 products/h, sterilizing them both from the top and bottom (360° UV exposures).

SteriBeam’s basic sterilisation tunnel has two PUV lamps, a small footprint of 120 x 80cm, requires max 2kw of electrical power and can be fed from a single phase electrical line.

For more details, see the SteriBeam press release.

Tim Sandle adds:

Studies which have been undertaken in relation to the pharmaceutical sector have shown that the technology can achieve six-log microbial kill of vegetative microorganisms and microorganisms in the endospore state in vials of Water-for-Injection:

Dunn, J., Burgess, D, and Leo, F. (1997). Investigation of Pulsed Light for Terminal Sterilisation of WFI Filled Blow/Fill/Seal Polyethylene Containers, PDA J Pharm Sci Technol 51 (3):111-115

Other research, of potential relevance to the pharmaceutical industry, has been with methods to disinfect (rather than ‘sterilise’) water systems:

Demirci, A. and Krishnamurthy, K. (2006). Disinfection of water by flow-through Pulsed ultraviolet light sterilisation system. Ultrapure Water Journal. 24 (1): 35-40

Posted by Tim Sandle