Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Clinical Evaluation of TerraGene MiniBio Sterilization Monitoring System Beginning and Followed Soon by 3M™ Attest™

Dentistry has always had a strong track record when it comes to patient safety... especially in the realm of infection control.  

As part of any good infection control program, one of the key points is to make sure that not only are all the necessary steps being taken, but that those necessary steps are effective.  Autoclaves need to be validated on a regular basis to ensure that they are working properly and that instruments are being effectively sterilized.

This is done by utilizing spore tests.  The majority of offices use some type of a monitoring service where a spore "strip" is used.  The strip is a slip of paper that basically has spores embedded in it.  The strip is run through a sterilization cycle then sent to an outside lab where they attempt to grow the embedded spores.  If no growth occurs, the strip is sterile and the test is considered "pass".  If however growth occurs, than the test is considered "fail" and the office is notified and the autoclave is taken out of service. A second test is run to make sure of the result.  If it fails again, the autoclave is serviced and over-hauled.  If it passes then the original fail is considered an aberration.

The main problem with using an offsite vendor for this service is the time it takes to turnaround the results.  The strip has to reach the lab and the tests have to run.  Wouldn't it be great to be able to bring this all in house?

That is the concept behind a couple of new devices that I'll be testing in the next few weeks.  They are the TerraGene MiniBio and the 3M Attest Mini Auto-Reader.

Both of these devices can provide results of autoclave sterility *in under thirty minutes*.  Plus they keep all of the tasks involved with this in-house giving the office greater control over the entire process.

I'm very excited to begin clinical testing on both devices.  At the time of this post, I have run 2 cycles on the TerraGene System and one on the 3M (due to the TerraGene being in the office first).  Both have been impressive in this limited testing.

As I do with all my product testing, I'll be running both devices through some fairly rigorous protocols and then report back here on the blog when my work is done.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section or feel free to email me directly.

I have quite a few products and devices to test in the next few months, so check back frequently to see what I'm about to attempt to break and then see how successful I was.  Thanks for reading!

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