Monday, March 22, 2021

Maintaining High Level Contamination Control with Passthrough Chambers

A clean room is only as clean as the items (and people) who enter it.  Autoclaves are utilized to sterilize some supplies and materials entering an aseptic area, but not all materials are compatible with a steam sterilization process.  Electronics and other materials that are incompatible with either high heat or moisture cannot be processed within an autoclave.  Those materials are typically wiped down with a liquid disinfectant, which ultimately offers a lower kill level and a potential for human error not wiping all surfaces properly.  The risk is greater for more complicated instruments where wiping hard-to-reach surfaces is impossible, such as the internals of a laptop computer.  Over the past 20 years, we’ve been working to identify and offer solutions to some of the gaps we find when working in barrier facilities.  Eliminating the risk of human error through the use of touchless pass-through chambers utilizing either chlorine dioxide gas or ultraviolet light is one such solution.

CD Gas Passthrough Chambers
As an EPA registered sterilant, chlorine dioxide gas can be used to ensure that items entering your facility are completely free of pathogens and unwanted organisms. Chlorine dioxide gas passthrough chambers can be utilized to decontaminate (or sterilize) items entering a barrier.  We’ve worked with Rack Washer manufacturers within the Life Science industry for over 15 years collaborating on Chlorine Dioxide Gas Decontamination Chambers as well as custom sized CD Gas Passthrough Chambers.  Both chambers are designed for the quick and easy decontamination of items within any governmental, pharmaceutical, laboratory, research or surgical setting. Passthrough chambers can be easily integrated into a new cleanroom design or installed into an existing cleanroom. It is used in conjunction with a chlorine dioxide gas generator to provide a rapid, fully automated, and highly effective method to sterilize computers, electronics, medical devices, sterile products, instruments, and components at ambient temperatures.  It also provides a cost-effective method to decontaminate components, parts, supplies, and equipment entering a “sterile” or “clean” facility at room temperatures and without the need for an expensive, space consuming, energy consuming sterilizer.  Passthrough chambers can also be used when removing items from a dirty or BSL level area to a clean area without the concern for cross contaminations.

The chlorine dioxide gas generator combined with a passthrough chamber features a sophisticated sterilant concentration monitoring system to ensure a tightly controlled sterilization process. All instrumentation, including the photometer for concentration monitoring, is easily calibrated to traceable standards. The process is easy to validate due to the repeatable cycle, tight process control, and highly accurate sterilant monitoring system.  A run record is produced that contains: date, cycle time, as well as relative humidity, temperature, pressure, and chlorine dioxide concentration. The equipment is available in a variety of sizes to meet your processing needs and can be manufactured with either a single door or double door pass-through orientation. A door interlock system is also available.

UV-C Passthrough Chamber
There are also UV-C passthrough chambers to disinfect small electronics, tools, components, and other liquid sensitive items entering a barrier facility or clean room. The Flash-Thru Chamber allows for the quick disinfection of items entering a sterile area using ultraviolet light. This chemical and liquid free system allows for the quick disinfection of tools and equipment quickly and efficiently treated upon reception and brought into the barrier. The Flash-Thru utilizes standard 110-240V electricity and supplies a UV-C dosage sufficient for achieving a 99% reduction of most viruses and bacteria within one minute. High-output UV-C bulbs last up to 16,000 hours. Their placement throughout the chamber interior, along with quartz glass shelving, ensures proper coverage of all items passing through to be fully disinfected.

Bringing equipment, tools, and supplies into a barrier facility is a potential pathway for pathogens to enter clean rooms. To learn more about pass-through chambers which can help eliminate dangerous organisms and preserve the sterility of your facility, visit our Products page and contact us to determine which option is best suited for your needs.