Monday 16 May 2022

Alternative method for sterilisation: X-rays

Compared with gamma, X-rays used for sterilisation have the highest potential penetration depth in a product. This advantage is off-set by the few number of X-ray generators available and less product validation or compatibility data being available. While the decontamination of products and materials with high-energy X-rays was developed during the 1970s, the first application of the technology for sterilisation (medical devices) did not begin until the early-2000s. 



The lower take-up may be about to change since interest in X-rays for sterilisation has increased in the 2020s following advances with higher beam power ratings of industrial electron accelerators. Along with e-beam and gamma radiation, three related-yet-different technologies are available.




Sandle, T. (2021) Alternative method for sterilisation: X-rays, Staxs article,


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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