Sterilization is a process that kills or eliminates harmful agents such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi from equipment, food, medication, and biological media. Low-temperature sterilization is one of the most commonly utilized methods for temperature- and moisture-sensitive medical devices and supplies. It is an ideal option for the sterilization of products that are damaged when exposed to dry heat or steam sterilization. Unlike heat sterilization, low- temperature sterilization can also be used for the sterilization of heat-sensitive items.
Rise in hospital-associated infections, higher global awareness redarding cleaning and sterilization, and rise in the number of surgeries are propelling the use of low-temperature sterilization. According to annual plastic surgery procedural statistics, 17.5 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2017, a 2% increase over 2016. Moreover, a rise in the prevalence of various diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis is likely to drive the usage of medical instruments, which, in turn, is anticipated to boost the low-temperature sterilization market. However, increase in the number of disposable devices reduces the need for the sterilization of devices, which is projected to hinder the market in the coming years.
The global low-temperature sterilization market can be segmented based on method, end-user, and region. Based on method, the global low-temperature sterilization market can be classified into ethylene oxide, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, ozone, and others. The ethylene oxide segment is projected to account for a significant share of the market in the near future, as ethylene oxide has the ability to sterilize both heat- and moisture-sensitive devices with reduced deleterious effects. In terms of end-user, the low-temperature sterilization market can be categorized into hospitals & diagnostic centers, pharmaceutical companies, medical devices companies, and research and educational institutes. The hospitals & diagnostic centers segment is expected to constitute a considerable share of the market during the forecast period, because of the high prevalence of hospital-associated infections and increase in the number of surgeries and tests.
Based on region, the global low-temperature sterilization market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominates the global market. The region is projected to account for a significant share of the global low-temperature sterilization market during the forecast period. The market in the region is primarily driven by an increase in the number of medical and pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, significant progress toward the goal of elimination of health care-associated infections is estimated to propel the market in North America. The overall burden of health care-associated infections, such as surgical site infections, lower respiratory tract infections, systemic infections, etc., is high in countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, and Germany, boosting demand for sterilization. In order to prevent these infections, in January 2013, the Swiss Federal Council approved its Health 2020 plan, which mandated the reduction of health care-associated infections as a first order measure. This is likely to drive the market in the region. In Asia Pacific, increase in the rate of hospitalization due to various diseases such as urinary tract infections, cancer, and gastrointestinal infections and rise in awareness about the diagnosis of diseases are anticipated to increase the use of devices. This, in turn, is expected to drive the low-temperature sterilization market in Asia Pacific. Expansion of the medical device industry and increase in the number of hospitals are some factors that drive the low-temperature sterilization market in Middle East & Africa.
Major players operating in the global low-temperature sterilization market include 3M, Gentinge AB, Johnson & Johnson, STERIS plc, Belimed, TSO3 INC., Becton, and Dickinson and Company.
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