Autoclaves come in a variety of sizes and are designed for many different uses. A scientific autoclave is designed to sterilize laboratory equipment and medical equipment, as well as growth media for bacteriological purposes. Autoclaves are designed to use pressurized steam at temperatures between 121 degrees and 134 degrees Celsius in order to kill virtually all bacteria and viruses. Prions and a few bacteria which grow at high temperatures are not affected. The rare bacteria which can survive common autoclaves cannot grow at temperatures found in the human body.
Benchmark Scientific Autoclaves are designed for ease of use and are bench-top models designed for use by medical facilities and research laboratories as well as science labs in schools. Benchmark offers two small bench-top autoclaves, the Bioclave mini autoclave with 8 liter capacity and the Bioclave 16 autoclave with 16 liter capacity.
The Bioclave mini autoclave has 121 degree and 134 degree cycles. This easy to use basic autoclave has a preset cycle for each temperature and is designed to be an easy to use, basic autoclave. The larger 16 liter model offers more preset programs as well as the option of programming all parameters to suit any special needs. An optional printer is available for the 16 liter Bioclave to allow for full documentation of sterilization procedures.
Both models have mechanical and electrical safety interlocks that preclude the possibility of accidentally opening the unit during a sterilization cycle until internal and external pressures are fully equalized. Accidentally opening a pressurized autoclave is an experience to be avoided, since pressurized steam can cause serious burns, especially when superheated.
Both units are fully automated and require the use of only a start button to operate (once any settings are made). They feature large, easy to read digital displays and proceed through the entire sterilization cycle automatically once started. This ease of operation means that virtually anyone working in a clinic, hospital, or laboratory can operate a Biocave. The versatility of the Bioclave 16 means that it is suitable for a wide variety of institutions, including many research facilities.
Many types of facilities have switched to using disposable equipment in order to avoid having to sterilize equipment prior to use. Much disposable equipment should be sterilized prior to disposal. Tattoo artists mostly use disposable needles in order to avoid the need for sterilization. Few clinical settings use reusable needles anymore, and many surgical implements are available in disposable forms. But most clinics and labs still have the need to sterilize equipment and growth media. The small footprint of the Benchmark Scientific Autoclaves and their ease of use make them ideal for many clinics, labs, and hospitals.