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Do Gamma Rays Sterilize Medical Equipment?


During sterilization, gamma rays efficiently eliminate microorganisms from the medical devices and tissue allografts, but also significantly change molecular structure of irradiated products, particularly fragile biologics such as cytokines, chemokines and growth factors.

How does gamma Ray Sterilisation work?

Gamma irradiation sterilization is performed by exposing the product to a radiation source, typically Cobalt 60 isotope, which decomposes into Nickel 60 isotope, firing off gamma rays in the process. These gamma rays can penetrate through the entire product, deactivating whatever microorganisms may be present.

How are gamma rays used medically?

However, gamma rays can also be used to treat cancer. Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, uses high-energy gamma rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a special form of radiotherapy. It uses beams of gamma rays to treat injured brain tissue by damaging the DNA of dangerous cells.

What makes gamma rays a useful surgical tool?

Answer and Explanation: Gamma rays sterilize surgical instruments because they easily penetrate through most materials and the ionizing energy they release kills bacteria and viruses.

Why do we sterilize plastic syringes with gamma rays?

Gamma irradiation is a physical/chemical means of sterilization, because it kills bacteria by breaking down bacterial DNA, inhibiting bacterial division. Energy of gamma rays passes through the equipment, disrupting the pathogens that cause contamination.

How long does gamma radiation last?

The so-called long-duration gamma-ray bursts produce a total energy output of about 1044 joules (as much energy as our Sun will produce in its entire life-time) but in a period of only 20 to 40 seconds. Gamma rays are approximately 50% of the total energy output.

What damage can gamma rays cause?

Gamma rays have so much penetrating power that several inches of a dense material like lead, or even a few feet of concrete may be required to stop them. Gamma rays can pass completely through the human body; as they pass through, they can cause ionizations that damage tissue and DNA.


How much does gamma sterilization cost?

The bulk of gamma sterilization is done at contract sterilizers. The project cost for a standard gamma installation is a few million dollars, and the cobalt 60 decays and is expensive to replace.

Is gamma irradiation expensive?

2) Gamma radiation is an inexpensive and logistically simple process–The cost of having the infested materials treated with gamma radiation at a commercial radiation plant was $1.00 per cubic foot.

Do gamma rays have mass?

Gamma radiation, unlike alpha or beta, does not consist of any particles, instead consisting of a photon of energy being emitted from an unstable nucleus. Having no mass or charge, gamma radiation can travel much farther through air than alpha or beta, losing (on average) half its energy for every 500 feet.

How are gamma rays helpful?

Gamma rays kill microbes, and are used to sterilise food so that it will keep fresh for longer. Gamma rays are also used to sterilise medical equipment.

How much gamma radiation is safe?

To cause death within hours of exposure to radiation, the dose needs to be very high, 10Gy or higher, while 4-5Gy will kill within 60 days, and less than 1.5-2Gy will not be lethal in the short term. However all doses, no matter how small, carry a finite risk of cancer and other diseases.

Which gas is used in GM counter?

A Geiger counter (Geiger-Muller tube) is a device used for the detection and measurement of all types of radiation: alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Basically it consists of a pair of electrodes surrounded by a gas. The electrodes have a high voltage across them. The gas used is usually Helium or Argon.

How do you create gamma rays?

They are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, such as neutron stars and pulsars, supernova explosions, and regions around black holes. On Earth, gamma waves are generated by nuclear explosions, lightning, and the less dramatic activity of radioactive decay.

How can we protect ourselves from gamma rays?

shield need to be about 13.8 feet of water, about 6.6 feet of concrete, or about 1.3 feet of lead. Thick, dense shielding is necessary to protect against gamma rays. The higher the energy of the gamma ray, the thicker the shield must be.

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