Cold water cleaning of brain proteins, biofilm and bone – harnessing an ultrasonically activated stream
In the absence of sufficient cleaning of medical instruments, contamination and infection can result in serious consequences for the health sector and remains a significant unmet challenge. In this paper we describe a novel cleaning system reliant on cavitation action created in a free flowing fluid stream where ultrasonic transmission to a surface, through the stream, is achieved using careful design and control of the device architecture, sound field and the materials employed. Cleaning was achieved with purified water at room temperature, moderate fluid flow rates and without the need for chemical additives or the high power consumption associated with conventional strategies. This study illustrates the potential in harnessing an ultrasonically activated stream to remove biological contamination including brain tissue from surgical stainless steel substrates, S. epidermidis biofilms from glass, and fat/soft tissue matter from bone structures with considerable basic and clinical applications.