Autoclave Procedure: Four Rules for No-Mess Liquid Sterilization

As we’ve discussed before, the best autoclave procedure for running liquid loads is trickier than just loading up the autoclave and choosing the “liquid cycle.” Follow these four rules and you’ll largely avoid trashing your autoclave chamber, plumbing, and drain while losing your liquids to evaporation, boil over, or burst bottles: 1. Never fill the bottles … Continue reading “Autoclave Procedure: Four Rules for No-Mess Liquid Sterilization”

Research Lab Autoclave Best Practices: The Liquid Cycle Won’t Save You

Every modern research lab autoclave has a “liquid cycle”—a cycle just for processing liquids, growth media, and so on.  Nonetheless, more often than not, if you fill a bunch of 1L bottles up to 900mL and process them on the “liquid cycle” they’re going to come out like this: The glass isn’t cracked; where did … Continue reading “Research Lab Autoclave Best Practices: The Liquid Cycle Won’t Save You”

Research Lab Autoclave Safety: Sealed Bottles are Bombs

In August of 2001 a research lab autoclave was processing tightly capped 178 bottles using a 30-minute liquid load.  The autoclave began making unusual sounds, so a trio of lab workers aborted the cycle and investigated.  They opened the autoclave to discover a few bottles had burst.  There was some lost liquid and a lot … Continue reading “Research Lab Autoclave Safety: Sealed Bottles are Bombs”

Research Lab Autoclave Safety: Bad Doors and Autoclave Explosions

  WARNING: These are disturbing pictures of research lab autoclave accidents. There is blood. What happened?  A lab tech loaded an older-style autoclave, began the cycle, and walked away to attend to other tasks.  Either due to user error or wear-and-tear over time, the door locking mechanism was not fully engaged.  As the cycle progressed, … Continue reading “Research Lab Autoclave Safety: Bad Doors and Autoclave Explosions”

Learning to Trust Your Autoclave

Dugway Proving Ground was among 9 biodefense research labs temporarily shut down after months of investigation revealed safety concerns, including live anthrax spores outside their containment area. Dugway has been under scrutiny recently for issues regarding the handling of deadly airborne pathogens. Bernie Youngblood, founder and president of Priorclave North America, is concerned these lapses aren’t … Continue reading “Learning to Trust Your Autoclave”