A NOTICEABLE trend in lab equipment in recent years has been the growth of the ‘personal’ scale machine. Where once almost any item of kit was an expensive resource that had to be shared across the bench, nowadays everything from microscopes to centrifuges are aimed at individual laboratory workers.
Latest to join this trend is Amsbio, with its personal lab steriliser called CoolClave. This compact device uses ozone gas to clean laboratory tools, and is said to be effective in sterilising and deodorising lightly contaminated pipettes, pipette tips, gloves, plates, small instruments, and even personal items such as keys and glasses.
Ozone provides a powerful sanitising effect that kills more than 98% of pathogens including bacteria, fungi, and viruses in just eight minutes, says Amsbio. An additional benefit is the elimination of odours produced by these organisms, so it is perhaps inevitable that it may prove useful for non-core laboratory activities such as treating footwear.
CoolClave operates without harsh chemicals, harmful UV, or heat, and does not damage any surfaces or leave any chemical residues behind, says the company. Items are simply placed inside the steriliser and the ‘start’ button pushed.
The sterilising action will penetrate cavities and crevices, giving a thorough cleaning action. Even so Amsbio places a prominent disclaimer on its web page saying that this device is “not a replacement or substitute for autoclaves, and should not be used to sterilise equipment for use in medical or surgical applications of any kind. CoolClave can eliminate most surface contaminants, especially bacterial and fungal, but only at lower densities that are typical in normal operating environments, such a lab benches”. Amsbio is careful to offer no guarantees that it will eliminate all contaminants.