For Needle-free Connectors, It is all in the SOSS™

Thursday January 8, 2015
by Todd Chelak: Research & Development

The focus of this two-part series is disinfection effectiveness associated with needle-free connectors. In Part I, I’ll review design differences that can influence the disinfection routine and the durability of needle-free connectors. In Part II, I’ll share the results of an independent study on the disinfection performance for the nPulse™ Neutral Connector following prolonged use.

There is no global standard for a disinfection routine for needle-free connectors in the clinical setting. But it stands to reason that, whatever your facility protocol, the most thorough disinfection routine requires a flat, smooth septum surface. Equally important is maintaining the integrity of the septum, which helps ensure the absence of spaces that may elude disinfection and create a pathway for pathogens into a patient’s bloodstream1.

Frankly, any of the leading needle-free connectors should be expected to maintain a flat, smooth septum surface with light or limited use. But hospitals may be wary of the deterioration of a connector under more rigorous or prolonged use. Out of this concern, some hospitals in the U.S. change connectors in as few as 72 hours in accordance with CDC recommendations2. But this use period may be less than what the manufacturer recommends, which, in turn, can drive up costs.

NP Medical wants our customers to be confident that our nPulse™ Neutral Connector will meet its stated performance requirements, and stand up to the rigorous use for which it was designed.

Sometimes design differences between devices are subtle and hard to discern. But in this article I can easily share the design difference between nPulse and two other widely used designs. The nPulse Neutral Connector uses a self-opening split septum (SOSS™). We introduced this design to the market over a decade ago, making it one of the most used and trusted designs in the industry.

The SOSSTM design eliminates the need to force a male Luer tip through the septum or use an internal cannula that drags against the critical septum seal surface. We believe that these other design approaches are less robust vs. the SOSSTM design approach. Let’s compare the three designs.

As Figures A, B and C show, in the SOSSTM design there is no need for an internal “spike” to pierce up or a male Luer to go through the septum to enable opening.

Check back for Part II of this series, where I’ll share results from our 7+7-Day Extreme Use Microbial Challenge study.


1 Jarvis W., MD. Choosing the Best Design for Intravenous Needleless Connectors to Prevent Bloodstream Infections. Infection Control Today, July 2010,

2 CDC, Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 2011,

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