Robots zap the cleanroom bugs

| Cleanrooms and Contamination Control

Lightstrike robot uses pulsed ultraviolet light to disinfect cleanrooms

Disinfection robots use pulsed ultraviolet light in process to decontaminate cleanroom spaces for the healthcare industry.

Recognising the potential of new technology for enhanced contamination control in cleanrooms where pharmaceuticals are made, Dutch company RevDesinfectie Robots recently evaluated Xenex Disinfection Systems’ pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection robots in live production cleanrooms. As a result of the successful testing, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies purchased and deployed Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to decontaminate and disinfect cleanrooms in five of its facilities in the USA and Europe.

More than 450 healthcare facilities around the world use LightStrike robots for room disinfection as part of their infection prevention programme. LightStrike robots use pulsed xenon to create intense flashes of germicidal ultraviolet (UV) light that quickly destroys bacteria, viruses, mould, fungus and spores. The portable and powerful LightStrike robot disinfects rooms in four or five-minute cycles depending on the robot model without warm-up or cool-down times.

Validation Testing

RevDesinfectie Robots acts as the distributor of LightStrike robots in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (Benelux) area and it recently performed extensive testing of the LightStrike robots in cleanrooms over a two-year period.

First, in partnership with a global pharmaceutical company, they conducted over 150 evaluations to confirm the decontamination effectiveness of the robot. The initial study was followed by usability testing and workflow analysis in actual production cleanrooms.

The studies validated the LightStrike robots for general cleanroom use, confirming that they were extremely effective at bringing down contamination levels within the clean facilities that they were tested in. Protocols for routine use were developed and analysed as well as a complete cleanroom validation packages for other companies that may be interested in how the LightStrike technology might play a role in their contamination control programmes.

Disinfecting Manufacturing Cleanrooms

According to Eric Hesp of RevDesinfectie Robots, the LightStrike robot was tested over a number of years for its ability to impact common cleanroom micro-organisms while maintaining cleanroom compliance with outstanding results having been demonstrated. This led to the system being adopted by a major pharmaceutical company.

“We strongly believe that the LightStrike technology is a breakthrough in the field of environmental disinfection, first in healthcare facilities and now also for non-pharmaceutical cleanroom contamination control,” says Hesp.

According to Dr Mark Stibich, a co-found of Xenex and the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, the effectiveness that LightStrike robots have shown in destroying germs and bacteria in hospitals has been proven in numerous studies, but this is the first time the technology has been evaluated in a manufacturing environment.

“The use of our technology to disinfect such cleanrooms is an exciting validation of the LightStrike robots in a new industry. Using these robots to provide additional assurance in cleanrooms will enable pharmaceutical companies to maximise the utilisation of their facilities,” says Stibich.

LightStrike robots have been studied extensively in the hospital environment and credited in numerous published studies with helping hospitals decrease their Clostridium difficile (C.diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Surgical Site Infection (SSI) rates from 46% to 100%.

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