The term sterilization refers to any procedure that helps in destroying all forms of microbial life and transmissible agents. Transmissible agents are bacteria, fungi, spore forms and virus. These micro-organisms and transmissible agents are present on the surface of medical instruments, contained in medication, fluid and biological culture media. Sterilization helps in making these culture media infection free by applying heat, pressure, chemical and filtration. This process disables the infectious protein like prions of the micro-organism and hence results in infection free medium.
Sterilization is achieved through various methods such as steam sterilization, heat sterilization, chemical sterilization, radiation and sterile filtration. In steam and heat sterilization, the artifacts which are to be sterilized are placed in a steel container and subjected to high temperature. These containers are incorporated with numerous parts that help in maintaining temperature and pressure inside the container. In chemical sterilization, various chemicals such as ethylene oxide, nitrogen dioxide, bleach, ozone, phthalaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and silver are used. In radiation sterilization, rays like gamma, ultraviolet, electron beam and X-rays are used. These processes may sometime destroy liquid medium along with the micro-organism. To overcome this situation, sterile filtration is performed where the fluids are passed through very minute pores whose size ranges from 20 to 50 nm. These small pores do not allow the micro-organism to pass since size of these organisms is larger than the pores.
This market is expected to grow due to rise in safety processes of the various medical institution and research laboratories. In addition rise in number of surgeries and would consequently increase the demand of infection free instruments. In addition, drug preparations also require high sterile medium which would also augment the growth of this market. Moreover, the governments have made stringent rules for various medical institutes to sterile instruments after every use which would also trigger the growth of this market.
Some of the market players in this industry segment are Roche, Pfizer, Becton Dickinson, Advanced Sterilization Products, Belimed AG and bioMerieux amongst other significant players.
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