Dzintra Zaļā

Last summer, producers of ice cream “Mr. Big”, JSC “Balbiino”, created a social campaign “Go Big or Go Home”. The aim of the campaign was to donate one euro cent to the University of Latvia Foundation for each ice cream sold. During the summer 5308.68 euros were donated and the UL Foundation directed these funds to the faculties of natural sciences to purchase an autoclave. After this year's National Day, the equipment finally fell into the hands of researchers. 

"We are really happy to be able to start working with this device. The autoclave will be used at least twice a day by our researchers to sterilize microbiological media, laboratory pipettes and tips, reagent fluids, bioreactor tanks, soil samples, and infected laboratory materials. On behalf of all the researchers, I would like to thank the UL Foundation and Balbiino for this social initiative,” says UL researcher Dzintra Zaļā. 

"A significant advantage of an autoclave is its actual existence, which allows the necessary research to be carried out. The advantage of the autoclave is the relatively short sterilization time and the possibility to dry the sterilized materials. For example, there are experiments that require both sterile and dry containers. The idea of donation to improve the material and technical base is very valuable," says UL researcher Oskars Purmalis. 

Autoclaves are widely used in microbiology, medicine, chemical industries, veterinary medicine, dentistry, food industry. Autoclaves are used to prepare media, reagents and equipment, as well as biohazardous waste for the destruction of bacteria, microscopic fungi and their spores in microbiology laboratories. In medicine, autoclaves are used to sterilize surgical equipment, laboratory instruments, pharmaceuticals and other materials. In the chemical industry, hydrothermal synthesis, coating restoration, as well as rubber vulcanization are performed in an autoclave. 

Although the term "autoclave" does not mean much to a large part of the public, this equipment is widely used in many industries. An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to carry out processes that require elevated temperatures and pressures. The first autoclave, a steam sterilizer, was invented by the French microbiologist Charles Chamberlain around 1884 because medicine required a reliable method of sterilization. 


Related Content