Predicting Relative 'Cleanability' from Geometry

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Research Topic

This research looks at the 'cleanability' of surgical equipment, specifically arthroscopic shaver handles. Due to the geometry of these tools cleaning and sterilizing them is not possible with the reprocessing procedures given by the manufacturers. This can lead to the shavers retaining tissues, such as bone, blood, and other fluids, between surgeries causing infections and, in some cases, death. After an outbreak of surgical site infections (SSI) following orthopedic operations at a Texan hospital attention was drawn to the dirty surgical equipment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety warning concerning the shavers and proper reprocessing techniques. The project Anna is assisting with is looking at CT scans of plastic models of the shavers and comparing them to the mathematical models of the shavers to show where particles are retained. The goal is to validate these models.


An arthroscopic shaver, including where bio-burden is retained inside.

Picture courtesy of JSTOR