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Survival rodent surgery requires the use of sterile instruments for each animal, which can be challenging when performing multiple surgeries on batches of animals. Glass bead sterilizers (GBS) are widely considered to facilitate this practice by sterilizing the tips of the instruments between animals. However, other disciplines have raised questions about the efficacy of the GBS, especially when used with surgical tools that have grooves or ridges that may contain organic debris. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the GBS to sterilize instruments commonly used in rodent surgery by intentionally contaminating a selection of instruments with a standardized bacterial broth inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. As expected, a simple ethanol wipe was ineffective in sterilizing instruments in all treatment groups. An ethanol wipe followed by GBS was effective in sterilizing 82.5% (99 of 120) of the instruments. Our study suggests that the GBS may not be effective for consistent sterilization of surgical instruments.


Beth Skiles, Nancy A Johnston, G Kenitra Hendrix, Debra L Hickman. Effectiveness of the Glass Bead Sterilizer for Sterilizing Surgical Instruments. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS. 2022 May 01;61(3):252-255

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PMID: 35314021

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