Sun Frost Syringe Mate (Syringe Sterilizer/Melter)
In developing countries, safely processing used syringes is difficult and often they are not disposed of safely. To compensate, auto-destruct syringes are typically used. These devices prevent the reuse of contaminated syringes. Sun Frost has developed a solar device, the Syringe Mate, which melts and sterilizes plastic syringes. After melting, the sterilized needles are safely contained in the melted plastic matrix (Fig. 1).
The Syringe Mate simplifies the sterilization and disposal processes. In the clinic, syringes are dropped directly into the vertically mounted Syringe Mate (Fig. 2). This procedure minimizes handling, reducing the possibility of accidental needle sticks.
Typically, if the used syringes are processed at all, they are placed in a cardboard box and incinerated. The process is polluting and results in needle waste, which should be contained in a concrete-lined incineration pit.
The Syringe Mate incorporates a vacuum tube collector and several reflectors allowing it to operate effectively even under hazy sun conditions (Fig. 3). The plastic syringes melt at 350˚ F. Even at this temperature, the external surface of the collector tube remains just slightly above the ambient temperature and is safe to touch as a consequence of the high R-value of the evacuated tube. The Syringe Mate makes the proper disposal of used syringes simple and safe.