March 30th, 2021
Overview: A company that produces endoscope reprocessors needed a partner that could design a filter to withstand very high pressure differential and multiple endoscope reprocessing cycles. Off the shelf filters were not meeting the required number of cycles and were failing integrity. This could lead to unsatisfactory sanitization of the endoscope between patient uses and the potential to cause serious cross-infection, disease or even death.
The Challenge: The integrity of the filter membrane must be maintained to prevent infection being passed from one patient to the next patient having an endoscopic procedure. Off the shelf filters were failing after only 150 cycles. A reprocessing cycle presents the filters with multiple high pressure pulses. Our target was to design a filter that could withstand more than 500 cycles.
The Solution: When off the shelf filters used in the reprocessors failed integrity they were dissected and analyzed. It was discovered that the critical membrane was being fractured by being forced in to the filter core’s bore holes. The solution was to reduce the physical size of the bore holes in the central supportive core of the filter and to wrap a fine non-woven material around the core and over the bore hole openings without significantly increasing the restriction to flow. The smaller bore holes and the patented wrap of non-woven material prevented the filter membrane being depressed in to the holes at high differential pressure. This resulted in filters being able to withstand more than 500 cycles without losing integrity.