According to USP <1229.9>, “A physiochemical integrator is defined as a device that responds to one or more sterilization process critical parameters, which results in a measurable value that can be correlated to microbial lethality.” USP also provides a definition for physiochemical indicators “as a device that provides visual evidence of exposure to one or more critical sterilization parameter.” The benefit of using an indicator such as this is that you have immediate visual confirmation that the item has been exposed to a sterilization process. They do not, however, provide evidence that the sterilization cycle was effective.
This chapter also discusses the need for awareness of how an integrator/indicator interacts with the item(s) being sterilized, as well as where it should be positioned.
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