Soniclean is currently involved in investigating the feasibility of a new hybrid system that employs the use of both ultrasonics and electrolysis methods for cleaning biomedical materials and devices. A PCT patent application on this hybrid system by Soniclean describes its ability to remove foreign material from substrates and their effective disinfection, which is achieved using minimal power and cleaning chemicals. Individually both ultrasonics and electrolysis are known to disrupt and denature cells and remove foreign material from surfaces. Soniclean’s proven Pulse Swept Power Technology creates widespread distribution of powerful acoustic cavitation energy. Software control of cycling between the ultrasonic and electrolysis modes, duty cycles and pulse width control provide an infinite scope of treatment configurations. Electrolysis voltages are varied whilst its ionisation processes are controlled by high frequency ultrasonic agitation.
Significant progress has been made and the prototype system has already been demonstrated to remove bio burden from metallic biomaterials such as surgical stainless steel. The biggest challenge for Soniclean now is to access and use advanced surface analytical techniques for investigating the surface properties of a series of biomedical materials and devices cleaned by this new environmentally-friendly hybrid cleaning system. The key expected outcomes of the proposed research and development project are:
1. Well understood surface chemistry (mainly composition and chemical state) of biomedical materials and devices treated by the new method; and
2. Their morphology and mechanical properties (mainly hardness, modulus and strength) measured and understood.
The above outcomes are specifically targeted, as these have strong bearing on the biocompatibility issues related to the cleaning of biomedical materials and devices.
Two years ago, Soniclean made a conscious decision to focus on the precision critical cleaning required in the health market. It has been developing a sophisticated suite of cleaning equipment for hospital CSSDs (Central Sterile Supply Department). A recent development to this suite is the ultrasonic disinfector dryer dedicated for cleaning fine keyhole surgical instruments. The development for this could follow through for stent implants.
The Company is confident that the new cleaning system in question will give them a competitive edge in the area of biomedical materials and devices cleaning.
The knowledge generated will also benefit local hospitals and health care facilities and also the local biomedical device manufacturers. The Company hopes to assist the development of protocol for the evaluation/quantification of cleaning and disinfection outcomes, prior to patient use. Present standards rely only on qualifying the process.