About the project

The project “Gamma sterilization and reuse of PPE” provides a safe and ecological solution, using gamma radiation to sterilise Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks, clothing, etc.

The project aims to identify several materials – already used in the production of PPE or with potential for future use – subject to gamma sterilization, and the number of times each PPE can be reprocessed in order to comply with the standards for PPE. In some cases, additional sterilization process may be necessary to restore materials functions.

In order to evaluate the possibility of using gamma radiation to sterilise PPE, a 60Co source will be used in the Technological Unit of Radiosterilization, located at Técnico – CTN Campus (Loures). This sterilization method is recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an effective tool for the elimination of SARS-CoV-2 in different types of PPE and has many advantages. This method allows the used PPE to be sterilized in sealed packages, thus reducing the transmission risks associated with the handling process. In addition, it also avoids toxic waste, which besides being ecological, allows the immediate reuse of PPE. Another advantage of this method is that it allows a simultaneous processing of large quantities of material, which contributes to reduce costs.

Once developed, the sterilization model can be used by healthcare units. Gamma sterilization can only be performed by experts in units specifically prepared for this purpose. The Technological Unit for Radiosterilization, located at CTN Campus, will provide a high level of responsiveness to evolving needs.
The project is coordinated by Ana Paula Serro (Técnico / CQE) and has received a €39,808 funding from FCT –“RESEARCH 4 COVID-19” (2nd edition).




  • Instituto Superior Técnico
  • Centro de Química Estrutural- CQE
  • Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion (IPFN)
  • Applied Microbiology Laboratory Egas Moniz (LMAEM)
  • CITEVE – Technological Centre
  • Clínica Dentária Universitária Egas Moniz
  • Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central (Hospital de São José)


  • Sterilization
  • PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
  • Reuse
  • Gamma radiation

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