Types Of Sterilization

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology (SLT)

Types Of Sterilization


The act of destroying microorganisms on and in an object has been emphasized. Sterilization is primarily used to prevent food and other substances from spoiling. These living microorganisms often spread deadly diseases in humans and animals. They can be destroyed either by chemical substances or by physical agents. Heat and irradiation are the two types of physical agents that can destroy such microorganisms. This paper revealed the different types of sterilization and its method .Discussed are the Sterilization, types of sterilization, methods of sterilization, sterilization equipment and finally conclusion.

Chapter One


Sterilization (or sterilisation) is a term referring to any process that eliminates (removes) or kills all forms of microbial life, including transmissible agents (such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, etc.) present on a surface, contained in a fluid, in medication, or in a compound such as biological culture media. Sterilization can be achieved by applying the proper combinations of heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure, and filtration. The term has evolved to include the disabling or destruction of infectious proteins such as prions related to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE).

Sterilization destroys all microorganisms; including bacterial endospores. Sterilization should be used for instruments, surgical gloves and other items that come in direct contact with the blood stream or normally sterile tissues (Spaulding 1939). It can be achieved by high-pressure steam (autoclave), dry heat (oven), chemical sterilants (glutaraldehydes or formaldehyde solutions) or physical agents (radiation). Because sterilization is a process, not a single event, all components must be carried out correctly for sterilization to occur. To be effective, sterilization requires time, contact, temperature and, with steam sterilization, high pressure.

Chapter Five

Conclusion And Recommendation


The effectiveness of any method of sterilization is also dependent upon four other factors:

  1. The type of microorganism present. Some microorganisms are very difficult to kill. Others die easily.
    Note: Although rinsing an item with alcohol and then igniting it with a match (flaming) sometimes is suggested as a method of sterilization, it is not effective!
  2. The number of microorganisms present. It is much easier to kill one organism than many.
  3. The amount and type of organic material that protects the Microorganisms. Blood or tissue remaining on poorly cleaned Instruments acts as a shield to microorganisms during the sterilization process.
  4. The number of cracks and crevices on an instrument that might harbor microorganisms. Microorganisms collect in, and are protected by, scratches, cracks and crevices such as the serrated jaws of tissue forceps.


Finally, without thorough cleaning, which removes any organic matter remaining on the instruments that could protect microorganisms during the sterilization process, sterilization cannot be assured, even with longer Sterilization times.

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