Porex, a developer of porous polymer solutions, and Guangdong Xianfeng Medical Technology Co., Ltd. have teamed up to develop a sterile container that will improve the autoclave sterilization process for surgical instruments and help to reduce the risk of infection. The container features a robust, reusable sterilization filter designed by Porex to block bacteria without the need for filter replacements.

Sterile containers are used in hospitals, dental offices, outpatient centers, as well as other medical practices to sterilize surgical instruments and maintain sterility until use in surgery. About one in 31 hospital patients acquires a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) on any given day as a result of poor cleaning or disinfecting practices around a surgical procedure at a healthcare facility.

To combat this issue, Xianfeng uses the Porex Virtek™ PTFE venting and filtering solution, which allows for a safer, more efficient, and convenient autoclave sterilization of surgical instruments. The cost-saving vent not only acts as a protective barrier against bacteria during subsequent storage but also improves efficiency and convenience for healthcare workers who no longer have to replace single-use paper or textile filters. The PTFE vent/filter can be used for thousands of autoclave sterilization cycles.

“Life-saving and health betterment procedures often leave patients vulnerable to HAIs, which can have a devastating emotional, financial and medical impact; at times, these infections can even lead to death,” says Michael Lei, Porex’s commercial leader for greater China. “Our Porex Virtek PTFE venting solution challenges the industry standard material and allows for greater infection control. We are excited to collaborate with Xianfeng to create a more durable and reliable product that contributes to greater patient safety.”

Porex has engineered this porous venting/filtering component using its proprietary medical-grade sintered PTFE hydrophobic membrane. The filter, which is made up of particles fused together through heat and pressure, does not require supporting layers (or a scrim), unlike expanded PTFE film. Porex Virtek PTFE has high airflow for optimal venting during the autoclave sterilization process and high bacterial filtration efficiency to maintain sterile integrity during transport and storage.

With its robust 3D sintered pore structure, the filter can also withstand repeated autoclave sterilization cycles, making the filter reusable and improving cost, performance and production efficiencies. This eliminates the need for single-use paper and textile filters, which are wasteful and ineffective vents for sterile containers.

“As new legislation and regulations for better patient outcome and greater healthcare worker safety continue to emerge in China, there is a tremendous need to deliver high-quality innovations for decontamination and sterilization to the medical device industry,” says David Chen, of Guangdong Xianfeng Medical Technology, Co. Ltd. “With Porex’s venting and filtering technology, we are able to provide our customers a sterile container that meets these goals, effectively sterilizing surgical instruments and blocking bacteria and ensuring a higher level of sterility assurance.”