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Making Culture Media Sterilization Easy

culture media sterilization

A frequent, high-volume, essential task like culture media sterilization should be simple, automated, and efficient. It happens so often, and so many other systems and processes rely on it. If it’s a chore or creates log jams, that’s going to have a wide ranging impact on your lab.

Tabletop Sterilizers Ask Too Much, for Too Little

We often see research labs outfitted with small, tabletop sterilizers originally designed for medical applications. They’ve usually called us in after problems with their “low cost” tabletop sterilizers. As is so often the case, the low cost has a price.

If autoclaves can’t reliably keep up with this kind of housekeeping, if their run settings require constant babysitting, or if you have to spend too much time DIYing basic autoclave maintenance, you’re wasting not just your own time, but sometimes the entire lab’s. If there’s a holdup in culture media sterilization, then there’s a good chance there’s also backlogged instruments, liquids, and other loads waiting to be sterilized.

For instance, manufacturers of these medical-grade sterilizers design them to be maintained in-house. But their expectations for DIY standard user maintenance procedures are ambitious. You’re expected to replace and rebuild multiple components several times a year. And that’s on top of scheduled preventative maintenance service calls. It’s just too much.

And when it’s too much, systems get overwhelmed. With overwhelm, downtime. Downtime like that is a major impediment to taking care of business. And it happens in labs around the world—labs often poorly served by the wrong equipment. 

Priorclave autoclaves are designed for research. Every unit ships with a research-ready programmable control system that provides precise control of temperature, timing, and pressure (for those who want it) while simplifying media preparation (for those who need to push a button and get back to other tasks). Priorclaves are built with a special attention to liquid loads, nutrient broth, and media preparation. Our chamber and valve design discourage evaporation, bottle ruptures, and excessive boiling. 

Priorclave’s Features for Ease-of-Use, Convenience, and Precision

Because culture media sterilization is a primary task in so many labs, all Priorclave systems come with Timed Freesteaming, Media Warming, and Delayed Start features, as well as One Button Start programming.

  • Timed Freesteaming removes the air burden from difficult loads like plastic waste, also good for melting pre-sterilized growth media.  
  • Media Warming keeps media sterile and ready-to-pour, even overnight, by cycling the chamber until the door is opened can be added to any cycle program. No risk of caramelized, gelled, or spoiled media.  
  • Delayed Start lets you schedule the beginning of a sterilization program up to 24 hours in advance. 
  • Priorclave programming allows you to schedule any pre-set cycle program—no matter how long or complex—for a One Button Start. Certain programs can be limited to certain operators; individual operators can be limited just to “foolproof” cycles.
  • Priorclave’s optional Air-Ballast system eases the cooling process with compressed air, allowing pressure to equalize and return to ambient pressure at a safe pace, reducing the likelihood of burst bottles and boil-over.

All of these features make it possible for you to load a Priorclave autoclave, push a button, and walk away. Even better, you can load the Priorclave before you leave work, push a button, and arrive to find that culture media sterilized and ready to pout when you come in the next morning. Aren’t your days always better when you set up the coffee pot the night before? This is the culture media equivalent.

Reach out and talk with us about how we can build and maintain a seamless workflow for your media sterilization, red bag waste disposal, and other everyday lab functions—so that you spend more time doing science and less time cleaning counters.