We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

World-First Device to Remove Bacterial Biofilm Inside Endoscopes

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 May 2024
Print article
Image: Khamsin is the only automated scope cleaner currently on the market that also eliminates human error (Photo courtesy of PFE Medical)
Image: Khamsin is the only automated scope cleaner currently on the market that also eliminates human error (Photo courtesy of PFE Medical)

Endoscopes, which are long, thin instruments equipped with a light and camera at one end, are essential for internal medical examinations. Despite advancements, cleaning these tools sufficiently remains a significant challenge. Due to the sensitivity of their materials and electronics, endoscopes cannot undergo standard sterilization procedures applied to other medical and laboratory equipment. They require meticulous, lengthy cleaning processes to avoid contamination. However, even with rigorous cleaning efforts, endoscopes can retain bacterial biofilms—dense clusters of bacteria that adhere to surfaces and each other, protected by a slimy layer. These biofilms exhibit increased resistance to both antibiotics and disinfectants, potentially leading to severe infections or even patient deaths despite thorough decontamination efforts. Now, a new device aims to improve the endoscope cleaning process and prevent contamination by automatically removing bacterial biofilm inside which can cause infections.

Aston University (Birmingham, UK) is collaborating with PFE Medical (Staffordshire, UK), a company specializing in medical products, to advance the cleaning of endoscopes. They are exploring whether fiber optic probes equipped with ultraviolet (UV) light can effectively detect biofilms inside endoscopes. This research could lead to the creation of a pioneering device that inspects endoscopes and ensures they are clear of biofilms before use, thereby enhancing patient safety. This initiative builds on a previous successful collaboration between Aston University and PFE Medical, which developed a device called Khamsin that significantly enhanced the endoscope cleaning process and is currently being tested in real-world settings. This new partnership will leverage PFE Medical’s expertise in endoscope functionality along with Aston University's Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), renowned for its leading-edge research in photonics, medical lasers, and bio-sensing technology, to potentially transform endoscope safety and cleanliness in healthcare settings.

“Biofilm is a hidden killer, and we have no way to detect it currently without completely taking apart these medical devices,” said Rob Hartley, Managing Director of PFE Medical. “There is rising concern about microbial resistance and to find a way to objectively detect bacteria would be a true innovation that would have impact around the world.”

“It was exciting to go to PFE Medical recently and see Khamsin in action, knowing that this new product came from a project that only finished last year,” said Professor Kate Sugden, Deputy Dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences who will lead the project. “It will be a challenge to match the success of the last project, but I am optimistic that we can draw on the combined talent and facilities once again to make a significant contribution to solving this problem.”

Related Links:
Aston University
PFE Medical 

Gold Member
Real-Time Diagnostics Onscreen Viewer
GEMweb Live
Gold Member
12-Channel ECG
Silver Member
Compact 14-Day Uninterrupted Holter ECG
Single Chamber Ultrasonic - Wash / Rinse
565 PLUS Series

Print article


Patient Care

view channel
Image: The portable, handheld BeamClean technology inactivates pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Partners)

First-Of-Its-Kind Portable Germicidal Light Technology Disinfects High-Touch Clinical Surfaces in Seconds

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) remains a pressing issue within global healthcare systems. In the United States alone, 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually, leading to approximately... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: POCT offers cost-effective, accessible, and immediate diagnostic solutions (Photo courtesy of Flinders University)

POCT for Infectious Diseases Delivers Laboratory Equivalent Pathology Results

On-site pathology tests for infectious diseases in rural and remote locations can achieve the same level of reliability and accuracy as those conducted in hospital laboratories, a recent study suggests.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.