Sterilization of liquids in an autoclave can be difficult to accomplish safely and effectively. The temperature reading shows the heat of the chamber wall rather than the liquid contents. This means that the cycle time is calculated from the time that the sensor reads the appropriate starting level. At this point the liquid in the vessel may not have reached the correct heat. There is no way to tell (based on the usual reading method) whether or not the appropriate temperature is consistent throughout the load.
One way to combat this problem is through the use of a device such as the PT100 probe. This platinum resistance thermometer can be placed in a bottle within the autoclave chamber. From here it can monitor the temperature of the actual liquid contents. The temperature can be delivered to the display and the appropriate start time for the cycle can then be determined. This type of flexible probe communicates with the microprocessor on the autoclave to make operation simple. PT100 thermometers can withstand temperatures of over 250 degrees Celsius. They are an ideal tool for use in the harsh environment created by an autoclave since a load generally needs to reach 121 degrees during a sterilization cycle.
As an additional benefit, the probe also communicates the rate of cool down. The Systec equipment is designed not to open until the temperature has reached a safe level. Since the liquid load cools at a different rate than the chamber, the main sensor may not be adequate. If such a load is exposed to the outside air while it is still above 100 degrees Celsius, it can create several hazards. Contents may boil over, steam can rush out, and glass vials/bottles may crack or even explode. Basing system readings on the actual liquid temperature via the probe eliminates this risk. The autoclave is then programmed not to open until these specific contents can be safely accessed. The PT100 thermometer can be calibrated to meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology requirements for reliable accuracy.
More About Systec
This manufacturer has been in business since 1994 and is based in Germany. Systec (GmbH Labor-Systemtechnik) focuses on developing and marketing steam sterilization and media preparation equipment. They value feedback from their customers and attempt to couple innovation and quality with cost efficiency. Making autoclaving in laboratory settings safer and simpler are two of their stated goals. Many of Systec’s equipment designs are modular. This allows them to be upgraded easily as technology changes.
Onsite service is only available in Germany, but the sterilizers themselves are sold all over the world. Authorized distributors receive training and support directly from the manufacturer. The company provides units to labs and research institutes in the public and private sector. These autoclaves are produced to meet strict standards in Europe and the U.S. including those of the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). If you have a lab or research facility in need of a steam sterilization unit, review this free report to discover if one of the models from Systec can meet your requirements.