Microwave as Autoclave

Dr. Jim Campanella jjc3 at LEHIGH.EDU
Tue Jun 16 07:37:25 EST 1998


You can use a microwave as an autoclave if you use the very old
protocol called "tyndallization". Robert Tyndall, back in the
1870's, found that heating once to boiling did not kill the
endospores left behind by some bacteria. But, heating and cooling
sealed vesseled repeatedly over several days does eventually 
kill all the microbes. I know this is impractical in most labs, 
but it does allow you to use the microwave for sterilization.
You may want to look into it.


Jim Campanella
Dept. of Biology
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA 18015 USA

At 05:52 PM 6/15/1998 -0700, you wrote:
>At 16:37 15/06/98 -0700, you wrote:
>>I agree that a pressure cooker is a much better solution than a microwave.
>>However, there are pressure cookers for microwaves on the market. This
>>should be as effective as a stove-top pressure cooker. 
>>Glen Tamura
>You can also get steam sterilizers for microwaves designed for infant
>bottles, although I don't think that they would be any good for liquid
>media, but maybe for glassware etc.  Personally, I would go for a pressure
>Dental Research Group
>Wellington School of Medicine
>New Zealand

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