Knowledge Center

Autoclave Guide - Introduction to the CertoClav knowledge base

CertoClav Autoclave guide provides information about the function, operation and maintenance of autoclave sterilizers and the sterilization process.

How does a steam autoclave work?

A steam autoclave is designed to work with high temperature and pressurized steam to sterilize microorganisms.

Safety Instructions for autoclaving and Potential Risks

Steam autoclaves use high pressure and temperature steam for sterilization which is linked to potential safety issues for autoclave operators.

Autoclave operation, functioning and cleaning

The principles of autoclave operation: loading, operating and unloading the autoclave, malfunctions and spill clean-up indications

Chemical and biological autoclave indicators

How to validate that the autoclave is working properly? Autoclave indicators – chemical and biological indicators

Theory of Sterilization

Theoretical aspects of the autoclave. Combined effects of temperature and pressure in a steam autoclavingsimply explained.

Definition of Sterilization

Sterilization is the process that eliminates or kills all forms of microorganisms and infectious proteins.

Other Methods of sterilization

Quick overview of  other sterilization methods, including dry heat sterilization, irradiation, sterilization with ethylene oxide and peracetic acid.

Basics of bacteria

Quick overview of bacteria and microogranism types such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans, endotoxins, exotoxins, and prions.

Pyrogens and Bacterial Endotoxins

A pyrogen is a fever-producing molecule. Some bacteria produce pyrogens that are known as endotoxins and exotoxins.

Bacterial Resistance

Bacterial resistance refers to the ability of a bacterium to develop a tolerance for a particular antibiotic.

Bacterial Persistance

Bacterial cells have the ability to regulate their growth cycles in response to changing environmental conditions. There are several mechanisms involved.

Viable but not Culturable State

The mechanism of inhibition of contact-dependent growth allows some bacteria to inhibit the growth of other bacteria nearby.

Contamination, infection and fouling

The Search for active composites is about an effective solution against bacterial contamination of medical devices.


The prion protein, responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), can be denatured by autoclaving.

Viruses as Contaminants

The viral infection is a significant risk to laboratory personnel. Steam sterilization effectively destroys viruses.

Autoclaving Prions

Sterilizing prions requires denaturation to prevent induction of abnormal folding of normal prions.

Sterilization of spores and toxins

An overview of sterilisation methods for the sterilisation of spores, endotoxins, exotoxins, and pyrogenes.

Sterilization with steam

Water vapor is suitable for sterilization as dry heat. Autoclave heating  is  also known as steam sterilization and is the standard procedure in most  laboratories  and hospitals.