Industry News: Autoclaves Aid Cancer Research at Barts Cancer Institute

13 Jan 2017


Astell Scientific, the UK’s leading supplier of autoclaves, is helping to ensure the safety and reliability of laboratory work at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London. A Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence, Barts Cancer Institute is developing better diagnostic techniques and treatments to increase patient survival rates.

To ensure scientific integrity, all the media, instruments, pipettes, tubes and blades used by the researchers must be sterilised before use. In addition, much of the waste from the laboratory has been exposed to viruses or blood samples and therefore needs to be decontaminated according to procedures set out for Biohazard Group 2 material.

This vital decontamination and sterilisation is carried out by two Astell Scientific 735 litre square chamber autoclaves, whose large capacity enables them to complete the daily loads in one cycle. Waste decontamination takes place in one unit in the morning and sterilisation of new media in the other in the afternoon. This procedure keeps the process simple and eliminates the possibility of accidental cross contamination. The two new Astell autoclaves were adapted to be installed side by side with custom-designed fascia panels providing a neat, hygienic finish.

Principal Laboratory Manager Vipul Bhakta is pleased with the tailor-made solution. “We replaced two 10-years-old Astell units that had given excellent service”, he says, “the new autoclaves have password-protected cycles that ensure efficient sterilisation of all our loads.” And the equipment is supported by Astell’s customer service network through local UK based engineers to ensure speed of response should operational issues arise.