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1. (WO2018005715) PLASMA STERILIZATION SYSTEM AND METHODS

Pub. No.:    WO/2018/005715    International Application No.:    PCT/US2017/039856
Publication Date: Fri Jan 05 00:59:59 CET 2018 International Filing Date: Fri Jun 30 01:59:59 CEST 2017
IPC: A61L 2/14
A61L 101/02
H05H 1/24
Applicants: 3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY
Inventors: NELSON, Caleb T.
BENNAARS-EIDEN, Assumpta A. G.
SCHOLZ, Matthew T.
KOHLER RIEDI, Petra L.
SWANSON, Steven P.
ABADEER, Nardine S.
Title: PLASMA STERILIZATION SYSTEM AND METHODS
Abstract:
A system and methods for sterilizing or disinfecting articles, particularly the hollow internal areas of medical instruments are disclosed. The system includes a plasma generator having an electrode, a shield, and a dielectric gap between the electrode and the shield. A source of electrical power is connected to the plasma generator for applying an electron energy density between the electrode and the shield. A source of gas comprising water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen provides a flow of gas between the electrode and the shield, to form a plasma containing acidic and/or oxidizing species. In the exemplary system, the temperature at the shield's surface is <150 °C when the electron energy density is >0.05 eV/molecule of the gas. Also disclosed is a method for disinfecting an article contaminated with a bio-film or spores, by exposing the contaminated article to the plasma for an exposure time sufficient to achieve at least 2-log10 reduction in colony forming units.