Moscow, 16 April 2020 – Sterion JSC, a JSC Rusatom Healthcare subsidiary created by ROSATOM alongside a private investor, has started sterilising transport swabs for COVID-19 diagnostics as part of a contract with Hem Ltd.
Sterilisation is achieved by means of targeting the medical kits, pre-loaded onto a conveyor belt, with a beam of accelerated electrons. This method allows for the safe sterilisation of medical supplies without the need to unpack them from the shipping containers provided by manufacturers. After being processed with a stream of accelerated electrons, the swabs immediately become usable and do not require degassing (as would have been the case with several other sterilisation methods) or any other additional actions before actual use.
To date, more than 20,000 transport swabs have been sterilised. According to Alexander Shibanov, CEO of JSC Rusatom Healthcare, ROSATOM’s integrator in the field of radiation technologies in medicine and industry, by the end of April the number of processed medical kits will reach 150,000. “We plan to reach 300,000 in May,” he added.
These transport swabs are designed for safe collection and transportation of biological samples to laboratories for in vitro diagnostics. Each transport swab kit includes a plastic tube with the special liquid medium to preserve viral samples (including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease) during transportation, a screw cap for a hermetic seal, and a swab for sample collection. Hem Ltd. is the first and to date the only manufacturer of such transport swabs in Russia.
Sterion JSC also continues to sterilise medical masks, having processed 1.5 million units by mid-April 2020.
JSC Sterion is the operator of a specialised sanitation centre. It was created by ROSATOM alongside a private investor in February 2016 and is part of JSC Rusatom Healthcare (ROSATOM’s integrator in the field of radiation technologies in medicine and industry). JSC Sterion is based in the town of Lytkarino in the Moscow region at the production site of one of ROSATOM’s research institutes – JSC NIIP. It specialises in sterilising medical supplies using specialised equipment manufactured by Rosatom’s other enterprises, its main tool being the UEL 10-10 10 kW linear electron accelerator. Sterilisation up to a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10−6 is achieved by means of targeting medical products loaded onto a conveyor belt with a beam of accelerated electrons. This method allows for the safe sterilisation of medical supplies without the need to unpack them from the shipping containers provided by the products’ manufacturers. The centre also sterilises dressing materials, cotton wool, disposable underwear, and other medical supplies.
Hem Ltd. is a Russian company that produces laboratory consumables and reagents. The company was established in 1988.