Frequently Asked Questions

This list is not exhaustive so please consider asking us question directly with the submission option below

General Questions

What is Plasmapp's sterilization process?

Low temperature sterilization is required for surgical instruments that are moisture or heat sensitive (not suitable for steam autoclaves). A leading option is hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, which is widely available to large hospitals in the US. This is the process that Plasmapp brings to the STERLINK® suite.

Due to costs and spatial limitations, smaller practices have mostly relied on hand sterilization or the use of toxic and inefficient methods (i.e. Ethylene Oxide aka ETo or Ozone). Not only is ETo toxic, it can take up to 12 hours to have instruments fully reprocessed.

This puts unnecessary strain on modern practices in terms of workflow flexibility, infection control, and profitability.

For more information, see our blog for 10 Things to Know about Gas Plasma Sterilization

 

What can I sterilize in the STERLINK?

Gas Plasma sterilization should be used for items that are not suitable for high-temperature steam. More and more instruments today are sensitive to heat and moisture, which requires flexibility in the small practice.

ASP, the leading provider for large hospitals, publishes a Sterility Guide with manufacturer specific certifications covering thousands of instruments. The major categories compatible with STERLINK® are as follows:

 

Batteries Cranial Pressure Transducer Cables Cryoprobes
Defibrillator Paddles Resectoscopes and working elements Dopplers
Rigid and flexible scopes/endoscopes Electrocautery instruments Shaver handpieces
Endoscopic instruments Single-channel flexible endoscopes Esophegeal dilators
Stereotactic equipment Fiberoptic light cables Surgical Drills
Laryngoscopes and blades Thermometers Laser handpieces, probes, fibers, and accessories
Trocar sheaths Metal instruments Ultrasound probes
Ophthalmic lenses Video cameras and couplers and more

For additional questions please CONTACT US directly.

What are the safety precautions to consider?

Always wear gloves to prevent contamination of sterilized equipment.

Remember to follow washing and drying protocol prior to sterilization. Loads should be as dry as possible.

DO NOT place cellulose/cotton-based items inside the chamber for sterilization. This will cause an error as well as absorb the sterilant gas, and converting back into liquid form, resulting in instruments needing to be reprocessed again.

Do not use trays inside the STERPACKs that are not provided by Plasmapp. We cannot guarantee 3rd party trays are suited for use in the atmospheric vacuum environment of the packs.

Please check for damage and sealing condition of the load pouches to avoid sterilization error.

Leave space between the load and the vacuum exhaust port on the wall of the chamber.

What are the usage modes and cycle times?

The  STERLINK suite automatically senses the usage mode and adjusts accordingly

Chamber Mode

STERLINK FPS – 36-minute cycle*
STERLINK Mini – 18-minute cycle

This mode leverages single use recyclable cartridges to operate a full chamber cycle. The entire 14-liter volume is usable without the need for spacing between items – the functional capacity is similar to a 25 or 30 liter autoclave. 

STERPACK Plus Mode

STERLINK FPS – 14-minute cycle
STERLINK Mini – N/A (chamber size limitations)

The STERPACKs create on-demand level cycle times for small instruments. 

These packs were developed as the world’s first direct H2O2 injection + atmospheric sealing process for optimizing sterility and reducing cycle times. 

STERPACK Mode

STERLINK FPS – 7-minute cycle
STERLINK Mini – 7-minute cycle

The original STERPACK was designed for on-demand cycles of single instruments.

The original STERPACK and Plus packs are self contained with 58% hydrogen peroxide sterilant solution and barcode recognition. 6-month post cycle storage life.

*Pre-cycle conditioning could vary causing 1 – 3 extra minutes added to each cycle

 

 

 

How much can you sterilize at once?

In Chamber mode the entire volume is usable – just take care not to cover the vacuum port. No space is required in between packaging like with steam autoclaves.

Using STERPACK mode the volume is limited to the pack dimensions. Typically these packs are used for single instrument and on-demand requirements.

Are trays required when using STERPACKs?

No. However, you must consider if the instrument is fragile or sharp. Without protection from the vacuum compression of the pouch, fragile instruments may be damaged and sharp items may puncture the pouch. 

Is cooling or aeration required?

No cooling or aeration is required. The packaging post cycle will be just warmer than body temperature and the plasma-technology ensures there exhaust is clean oxygen.

What is the maintenance?

The STERLINK® suite requires 15 minutes of routine maintenance every 6 – 8 months. The includes changing a hepa and ozone filter and the mineral oil in the vacuum pump (a kit will be provided or performed by field personnel).

The inside of chamber should be wiped down once a week with a clean damp towel. Stay clear of the barcode next to the sterilant catridge holder – a towel may scratch the lense. The barcode lense should be blown with compressed air or cleaned with a lens cloth. 

Modern gas plasma is very “hands-off” in terms of maintenance and ours is no different with IoT cloud-based cycle tracking and remote issue monitoring. 

What is the warranty information?

We offer 2-year parts and labor on the sterilizers and a 10-year warranty on the vacuum pump system from Pfeiffer.

What pricing models are offered?

Bank payment, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express options are available. Financing partners are coming soon.

How does the cloud-based tracking work?

Each STERLINK unit can be connected to the internet for cycle tracking and issue monitoring. Customers have access to a portal with records of each cycle, which can be downloaded as necessary. Currently we do not yet have APIs to port the cycle data to your ITS system but this is in the roadmap. Please contact us if you would like to learn more, have questions, or if you would like the cycle data to be accessible outside of our cloud environment.

Is Plasmapp technology patented?

Yes. Plasmapp owns over 40 medical and industrial patents filed and issued globally – many are incorporated into the STERLINK® suite including the core Linear Jet Plasma Source (LJPS®) and vaporizer.

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