Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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Why Ultrasonic Cleaners Are Used in the Medical Industry

October 23, 2019

Why Ultrasonic Cleaners Are Used in the Medical IndustryBecause medical devices are often delicate but have to be cleaned to a high standard, ultrasonic cleaners are an ideal solution, offering gentle cleaning and complete removal of contaminants. Many medical devices can’t be exposed to the heat, chemicals and mechanical scrubbing used in traditional cleaning methods. This means that either costly disposable devices and accessories have to be used or that the device may not be completely clean. Industrial ultrasonic cleaners can adjust the intensity of the cleaning action to match the requirements of the device but still clean quickly and completely.

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Deliver Gentle and Complete Cleaning

The sound waves generated by ultrasonic cleaning systems produce microscopic cavitation bubbles in the cleaning solution. The formation and collapse of the bubbles agitate the cleaning solution near the medical device surfaces to dislodge any dirt or contamination that may be present. Low ultrasonic frequencies produce comparatively large bubbles with an intense cleaning action for rugged devices while the smaller bubbles of high frequencies gently clean delicate devices. Selecting the appropriate ultrasonic frequency ensures excellent cleaning performance without damaging the medical device.

The ultrasonic cavitation bubbles are created wherever the cleaning solution is present. This means that bubbles can clean inside interior surfaces, in dead end holes and even inside slots and threaded holes. The ultrasonic sound waves pass through the parts to be cleaned and create cleaning bubbles in all places where the cleaning solution has penetrated. In a well-designed ultrasonic cleaning system, the bubbles are evenly distributed throughout the cleaning tank and cleaning is rapid and complete.

Ultrasonic Cleaning for Surgical Instruments and Medical Implants

Because they are used inside the body, surgical instruments and medical implants are subject to extremely high standards of cleanliness and sterility. Both often have complex surfaces that are hard to clean and many new instruments contain electronics and fiber optics that can be damaged during traditional cleaning and sterilization with high pressure and steam in an autoclave. The use of ultrasonic cleaners addresses both these issues in a comprehensive way, completely cleaning instruments and implants and allowing safe sterilization at room temperature.

No matter how complex the surfaces of the surgical instruments and implants, once they are immersed in the cleaning solution, the microscopic cavitation bubbles are formed inside the tiniest crevices and dislodge any contaminants, cleaning down to the original surface. Complete cleaning is especially important for medical implants. If bolt threads and interior surfaces are not cleaned completely, it can lead to a rejection of the implant.

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners effectively remove contaminants, however they do not, by themselves, kill or remove bacteria. If sterilization in an autoclave is not possible because the parts to be sterilized could be damaged by the high temperature, ultrasonic cleaning with a disinfecting solvent can sterilize surgical instruments and medical implants. Adding a sterilizing solvent to the cleaning solution helps the cleaning action proceed more quickly and the action of the cleaning bubbles heighten the sterilizing effect as well. Using ultrasonic cleaners in this way cleans and sterilizes surgical instruments and medical implants without the use of steam or high temperature.

Medical Industry Experience Lets Kaijo Propose the Right Medical Ultrasonic Cleaner

Kaijo’s extensive line of industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems and equipment are used by many companies in the medical industry to ensure medical devices can be cleaned and sterilized as required. The company offers free consultation and can supply ultrasonic cleaning systems at the right frequencies and power to meet the needs of their customers’ medical cleaning applications. Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaners can result in faster cleaning of medical devices while improving cleaning and sterilizing performance.

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