Laboratory Autoclave, what is it and where to buy it?

November 2, 2021

Laboratory Autoclave allows the sterilization of laboratory materials and medical materials, using steam at high pressure and high temperature.

Laboratory Autoclave

It is a metal container, which has quite thick walls. It closes hermetically to be able to work with the steam in the correct way. The autoclave sterilizes the instruments, thus inactivating all bacteria and viruses. Although it goes without saying that certain studies have revealed that certain microorganisms have survived the high temperatures and pressure of the autoclave.

What is the Fisher Lighter?

The autoclave is used in any laboratory or industry where effective sterilization of materials is required.
In general, to achieve effective sterilization, the laboratory autoclave works at temperatures of 121 degrees Celsius for a continuous period of 20 minutes. Although this time depends exclusively on the load in the autoclave. The more load, the longer.

History of the laboratory autoclave

Charles Chamberland was the genius behind the invention, in the year 1879. Taking into account that there has always been knowledge of the sterilization method through steam or directly introducing the elements in boiling water. Charles Chamberland thought of a way to sterilize while conserving the steam method and based on this, he conceived the autoclave. An extremely effective method, because the instruments to be sterilized would be exposed to intense heat and high pressure for several minutes.

Why is heat sterilization so effective?

This is the most effective type of sterilization. The proteins of microorganisms coagulate and are destroyed.

Types of Laboratory Autoclaves

We found two types of autoclave. There are them for Gravity and  Prevacuum . Let’s start with gravity autoclaves.

Gravity laboratory autoclave

When steam enters the chamber, gravity removes the cold air. This air comes out through a duct that we can find at the bottom or bottom of the chamber. This is a somewhat slow process, which helps the residual air to remain in the chamber.

Prevacuum laboratory autoclave

This autoclave has a vacuum pump. This pump is responsible for quickly removing the air from the chamber. This favors the steam entering the chamber at a much higher speed, if we compare this autoclave with the previous one.

How many stages of operation does the laboratory autoclave have?

It starts working – At this stage we must proceed to close the doors hermetically so that the chamber is completely sealed.

Air Expulsion – Here begins the stage of expulsion of the air contained in the chamber and the elimination of the air contained in the packages and containers is favored. To perform this air expulsion action, steam must be injected into the chamber and the vacuum system must be activated.

Start the Preparation – To complete the phase of extracting the air from the products and the chamber, a series of actions must be carried out and 4 stages must be completed. The first stage is when steam is injected (from chamber to chamber) then the vacuum stage (pre-vacuum) follows, and it is carried out through the vacuum system, and in this way the remaining air is completely eliminated.

Heating – In this phase we must introduce steam into the chamber and we must also do it inside the containers. The correct temperature must be reached in order to proceed with sterilization.

Starting the Sterilization  – To perform the sterilization, the constant temperature and pressure must be maintained in the chamber during all the minutes that the process lasts.

Devaporization – During this stage all the vapor that is inside the chamber is eliminated. The system used to remove steam is vacuum. And this is when the pressure drop in the autoclave begins.

Drying Process – We start the final, long-lasting and deep vacuum. We keep the steam in the chamber of the autoclave and in this way the chamber is kept warm. This process helps drying. This should be done to avoid contamination of the camera.

Equalization – We enter the atmospheric air into the chamber, and this action is carried out through a sterile air filter.

Conclusion of the process – At this point, the doors are opened.

Autoclave – Parameters to be controlled

Treated water must be used so that the steam is free of impurities. Since steam is so important throughout the process, it must be pure. Sterilization will only be effective if the steam is pure. Another parameter that must be controlled is the temperature throughout the sterilization process. It must remain the same throughout the phase.

Sterilization Indicator

As we have already said, correct sterilization is of vital importance, including for the life of the human being. Imagine that a device has not been sterilized in the corresponding way and then it is taken to surgery. The consequences for the patient and the medical body could be very important and dangerous.
It is for this reason that the autoclave has indicators so that the user can be sure that the content has been properly sterilized. Temperature and pressure must be correct.

Physical indicators

Some of the indicators consist of the alloy that has been designed to melt, but only after it has been subjected to a certain temperature and for a certain period of time. If said alloy were to melt, in that case the change would be noticeable.

Chemical indicators

These indicators are found on the autoclave tape and the medical packaging. They will change color after being subjected to the correct conditions.

Biological indicators

Biological indicators are those that contain the spores of a heat-resistant bacteria. Geobacillus stearothermophilus. If for some reason the autoclave does not reach the proper temperature for sterilization, these spores will germinate.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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