Washer Disinfector Enzyme Detergents
Surgical instrument washing enzymes are proteins produced by all living organisms that act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions that would otherwise occur at a much slower rate. Catalysts delivered with the enzyme cleaners help the washing process from a beginning to an end.
The enzyme catalysts are not used up in the washing reaction so they are available to help multiple washing reactions. Surgical instrument washing enzymes fit their target substrates like a lock fits a key. The surgical instrument washing enzymes active site is open only to specific target substances with a matching chemical and three dimensional shape. If the substrate doesn't fit, the surgical instrument washing enzymes can't enter and no cleaning reaction occurs. This makes the action of surgical instrument washing enzymes highly specific for their substrates. For this reason specific enzymes are needed for washing bioburden from surgical instruments. The four enzymes necessary for effective washing are: protease enzymes to breakdown proteins including blood, amylase enzymes to breakdown starch and catalyze the hydrolysis of starch, lipase enzymes to breakdown fats and high level lipids, and carbohydrase enzymes to breakdown high level starches. Enzyme detergents that do not offer these four enzymes cannot remove all forms of proteinaceous bioburden and will not be as effective for washing surgical instruments. When bioburden has been emulsified, i.e. during suction, the bioburden becomes more challenging to remove, particularly lipids and proteins. Highly concentrated protease enzyme cleaners and lipase enzyme cleaners are necessary.
For this reason specific washing enzymes are needed for removing surgical bioburden from surgical instruments. Enzyme detergents cleaners that do not offer the four enzymes, lipase, amylase, carbohydrase, and protease, cannot effectively remove all forms of proteinaceous bioburden and will not be as effective for washing surgical instruments.