Sterilization refers to any process that eliminates, removes, kills, or deactivates all forms of life and other biological agents present in a specified region. For dry heat sterilization, a temperature of 160 °C for two hours or 190 °C for six minutes of unwrapped objects is required for an ideal sterile environment for cell culture incubation.
High-heat sterilization is superior to chemical and abrasive methods of sterilization because it removes the mechanical (and labor-intensive) aspect of the process. Sterilization, with the heat of a great enough temperature and duration, are second only to incineration or introduction of a third variable such as steam and/or pressure.
Temperature sterilizations are superior to radiation sterilization because they thermodynamically destroy organic compounds; the use of UV and Ionizing radiation rarely affects material properties.
In the above image is the first use of our proprietary ceramic-gel jacket that enables high-heat sterilization for up to 24 hours, with minimal impact to adjacent units. The maximum internal temperature was recorded at 203.8 °C, while the top insulation surface temperature before the unit air-gap and paneling was 48 °C with wall temperatures barely exceeding ambient 20 °C.
With the maximum insulation surface temperature only reaching 48 °C, the overall energy escaping to the atmosphere is reduced. The T3-i7 remains environmentally conscious during the most demanding operation process, saving electricity and laboratory expenses. The study performed was specific to the insulation properties during 180 °C sterilization for 24 hours. The superior insulation properties are an early indication that the total heat-up time will be greatly reduced, further decreasing the downtime for the sterilization process.
Additional tests will be required to determine recommended sterilization cycle times.
The insulation performs beyond every incubation chamber to date and the need to monitor adjacent units is eliminated. Further tests indicate that even in a triple-stack arrangement, a unit sterilizing above, below, left, and right have minimal impact on the temperature performance of the centralized unit. The thin wall ceramic-gel-jacket eliminates the need for additional spacers, air-gapping, and other space-intensive methods of valuable lab space.
This test along with ergonomic studies indicate three units with a dolly are easily accessible with a small step stool and can maintain operating temperatures. The 21 cu.ft of incubation space of the triple stack T3-i7 replaces what was previously only 10.8 cu.ft, effectively doubling usable space. Early calculations indicate the three units still consume less energy than the obsolete doublestack being replaced.
High-heat sterilization in incubation is not a new concept. However, the use of thin-wall technologies and the superior insulation properties make the practice obtainable. By reducing energy requirements and maximizing space, two of the most prized resources in the laboratory are preserved and our company motto of ‘Laboratory equipment without limits’ is showcased.
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