Test laboratory cleanliness
Based on our years of experience, we see ourselves as experts in cleanliness and cleaning of medical devices.

By cleanliness we mean the absence of chemical impurities, microorganisms or endotoxins,  after the manufacturing process or after cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation of reusable medical devices.

To do so, we provide our customers with the following services from our company or through qualified cooperation partners:

Cleaning validation

Sterile medical devices are usually manufactured and packaged under cleanroom conditions. This limits the contamination of the products with microorganisms or endotoxins released by them.

While sterilisation-resistant endotoxins pose an immediate risk to patients, it is necessary to limit the bacterial count in order not to endanger the success of the subsequent sterilisation.

In addition to production under cleanroom conditions, disinfectant cleaning of the medical devices prior to final packaging is crucial. By integrating a cleaning step, the cleanroom production conditions can often be limited to the subsequent packaging processes.

Validation is necessary to demonstrate an effective cleaning process. In the course of simulated cleaning with artificially contaminated products, our laboratory can test the effectiveness of cleaning for the removal/inactivation of microorganisms or endotoxins.

In addition, the cleaning process can also be examined for its suitability for removing specific production residues. This may be done through chemical analysis and/or cytotoxicity testing. The goal is to prove whether the presence of toxic residues can be expected after the production process and final cleaning.

Our technical experts will advise you comprehensively on the definition of the cleaning processes for your product, draw up the validation plan together with the selection of the appropriate test soiling and the appropriate detection systems, carry out the cleaning simulation (on site), determine the residual soiling, evaluate the cleaning success and draw up a conclusive validation report.

To the overview

Microbial count determination / bioburden determination on medical devices and pharmaceuticals according to ISO 11737 or Ph. Eur. 2.6.12

The term microbial count or bioburden refers to the type and number of detectable bacteria and fungi that are present on a product prior to sterilisation.

To detect these, a sample is either dissolved in a suitable test solution or the microorganisms are rinsed off and then cultivated. The result is traditionally a number of grown colonies, which is why the result is expressed in colony-forming units (CFU).

In order to correctly determine the type and number of micro-organisms, a comprehensive validation of the determination method is necessary.

To the overview

Test for bacterial endotoxins according to Ph. Eur. 2.6.14 or 5.1.10, according to ANSI AAMI ST 72 and USP Chapters 85 and 161

BBF Sterilisationsservice GmbH has many years of experience and proven competence in the detection of endotoxins and carries out these tests for you in accordance with the applicable standards and regulations.

Pyrogens are substances which, even in small concentrations, trigger fever reactions, a drop in blood pressure and life-threatening shock in both humans and animals. The most important group of pyrogens are lipopolysaccharides from the cell membrane of gram-negative bacteria, usually referred to as endotoxins, which are released when the microorganisms die or the cell membrane disintegrates. They are very thermally stable and cannot be removed or inactivated by conventional sterilisation processes.

For the endotoxin determination the units are indicated in endotoxin units per ml (EU/ml). The determined endotoxin content is compared with the applicable limit value or the one specified by the customer.


We offer the following endotoxin determination methods as limit or quantitative tests:

Limulus amebocyte lysate test (LAL) according to Ph. Eur. 2.6.14, ANSI AAMI ST 72 and USP, chapters 86 and 161
Limulus amebocyte lysate test with horseshoe crab

Since the majority of pyrogens are due to endotoxins, especially lipopolysaccharides (cell wall components of gram-negative bacteria), the Limulus amebocyte lysate test (=LAL test) was developed for their detection. For this test components from the blood of the horseshoe crab are used which coagulate on contact with lipopolysaccharides. The test is carried out according to the Ph. Eur. 2.6.14 and USP chapter 85 as well as in the field of medical devices according to ANSI AAMI ST 72 and USP chapter 161.

We mainly conduct the test as a limit value test. This means our customer defines his limit value, e.g. 20 EU per product unit and we test dilutions below this limit value to ensure the acceptance criteria. The endotoxin content can optionally be determined quantitatively in our laboratory.

In order to produce lysate, the animals must undergo a risky blood sampling procedure. In addition, the lysate reacts not only to lipopolysaccharides but also to beta-glucans. These are polysaccharides found in the cell walls of plants, bacteria and fungi, such as cellulose or chitin.

That is why biotechnologically produced equivalents have been preferred in recent years. See recombinant factor C test in this context.

Recombinant factor C according to Ph. Eur. 5.1.10
Recombinant Factor C test

We offer testing for the detection of bacterial endotoxins by means of the Recombinant Factor C test. According to Chapter 5.1.10 of the European Pharmacopoeia, this is an alternative method to the Limulus amebocyte lysate test.

We offer two systems of the Recombinant Factor C test: the typical Recombinant Factor C test and the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) based test for the elimination of interfering factors in advance. Both test systems offer the option of quantitatively determining the endotoxin amount.

In the case of the Recombinant Factor C test, the decisive enzyme, the so-called Factor C, which can usually be found in the blood of horseshoe crabs, is biotechnologically produced. The pure enzyme eliminates false-positive results, which may result from beta-glucans, for example.


Your contact persons

Should you have any questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Herr Dr. Norman Layh
Dr. Norman Layh
Business Development
Herr Dr. Christopher Rösch
Dr. Christopher Rösch
Testing laboratory