A double inductively coupled low-pressure plasma for sterilization of medical implant materials

Joerg Hauser, H. Halfmann, Peter Awakowicz, M. Koeller, S. Esenwein

BIOMEDIZINISCHE TECHNIK 53(4), volume 53, 199–203, 2008


The potential of plasma treatment in medicine is only slowly gaining acceptance. Inactivation of germs through exposure to UV radiation produced by plasma discharges and sterilization of medical implant devices and instruments is one possible application of this technique. In addition, due to the manifold possibilities of coating through plasma processes, quick sterilization-coating combinations of medical implant devices are possible. To analyze the effectiveness of this sterilization process on different material surfaces, three different alloys (X2CrNiMo18-15-3, Ti6Al7Nb and Ti6Al4V) and one thermoplastic material (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, UHMWPE), commonly used in medical implant devices, were examined in the presented study. After spraying Bacillus atrophaeus spores (10(6) CFU) on the surfaces of four different implant materials tested in this study (X2CrNiMo18-15-3, UHMWPE, Ti6Al7Nb and Ti6Al4V), it was demonstrated in each of four gas mixtures used (Ar, Ar:O-2, Ar:H-2 and Ar:N-2) that due to the application of inductively coupled low-pressure plasma technique, plain medical implant materials can be sterilized rapidly, and can be protective and efficient.


tags: sterimed