Sterilization is an incredibly important part of any medical process. Here at Medico, all of our sterile products undergo either ethylene oxide gas sterilization or gamma irradiation sterilization before they are sent to our customers, which ensures the swabs are free from human DNA, enzymes that degrade DNA and RNA, and polymerase chain reaction inhibitors.
How are Medical Sampling Swabs Sterilized?
The following are the three most common methods of medical sampling swab sterilization:
• Ethylene oxide (EtO or EO) – EtO is a sterilization method that utilizes medium temperatures between 99-145°F (37–63°C), which creates a chemical reaction of proteins and DNA within the bacteria or viruses. The final step of the process is heated air circulation at temperatures typically between 122-140°F (50-60°C) to remove the EO gas from products and packaging.
• Autoclaves – Autoclave sterilization uses steam and pressure to increase the temperature between 250-270°F (121-132°C) to kill bacteria and viruses.
• Gamma irradiation – Gamma irradiation sterilization uses a radioactive material that emits high energy gamma rays, which breaks down the DNA within the bacteria or viruses.